Presidential adviser warns vs return to ECQ, bats for ‘localized lockdowns’


Posted at Jul 28 2020 07:58 PM

MANILA - A presidential adviser on Tuesday warned against putting Metro Manila and other regions back on enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and pushed for localized lockdowns instead. 

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said going back to ECQ would “destroy businesses and people who are trying to restart.” 

In place of the strict quarantine measures, which were eased in June, Concepcion called for a “more surgical and localized approach to lockdown that focuses on barangays or local clusters with high infection rates while allowing the rest of the area to operate normally.”

“Switching to more granular lockdown measures and giving more power to LGUs to enforce the lockdowns is something I presented to the President in a meeting. Economic activity may continue and businesses may resume operations, especially MSMEs who have been extremely challenged by the pandemic,” Concepcion said during an online conference of government and business leaders. 

Among those who attended the meeting were officials of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, several mayors of Metro Manila cities, as well as the heads of conglomerates Ayala Corp, MVP Group of Companies, and port operator ICTSI.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque had earlier warned that Metro Manila may revert to the stricter modified ECQ measures if COVID-19 cases surpass 85,000 by the end of July.

As of July 28, the Philippines already had 83,673 confirmed cases.

The Philippines' largest business organization, meanwhile, earlier called on the government to start allowing the full operation of businesses, saying many firms were now facing permanent closure because of measures meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.