The Philippines can no longer sustain another large-scale lockdown, or the economy will go to pieces.
Presidential adviser on entrepreneurship Jose Ma. “Joey” Concepcion III says the country’s economy can no longer stay on pause in order to support both the government and the private sector.
"'Pag mag-lockdown tayo ulit, masisira ang ekonomiya natin. 'Pag masira ang economy, mawawala lahat ng trabaho at anong mangyayari dito sa mga tao, kukuha tayo ulit ng social amelioration?" he said during the Laging Handa briefing.
"Masisira 'yung stimulus package nila kasi hindi umaandar ang economy, so we cannot afford another lockdown," he added.
Concepcion favors workers returning to infrastructure projects. He also said that many poor people are “resilient” the virus.
The Department of Health said there is no evidence to support this claim.
Concepcion also took the time to address the concern of the Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID). The association said rapid test kits are not recommended for testing employees returning to work, but Concepcion thinks otherwise.
"'Yung problema na itong mga doktor, salita ng salita, wala namang ginagawa. Complain ng complain," he said.
Through Project ARK initiative, Concepcion has seen the import of rapid test kits, should private sector employees need testing before returning to work during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
While industries and business are allowed to resume operations with the eased restrictions of the MECQ, the Palace said areas under looser quarantines can be placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) should the number of COVID-19 cases spike.
Metro Manila was under ECQ from March 17 to May 15. The area is no under MECQ until May 31.
Earlier today, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III there will no longer be large-scale lockdowns should a new wave of COVID-19 infections come. Instead, lockdowns will happen at the barangay level.
Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said there is room for smaller, localized lockdowns should a new wave come.
According to Duque, the Philippines is now on the second wave of infections. He warned that a third wave could come if Metro Manila shifts to general community quarantine (GCQ) without sufficient testing conducted.