Govt, private sector must agree in deciding quarantine restriction: Drilon

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 22 2021 03:56 PM | Updated as of Feb 23 2021 10:22 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on February 15, 2021. Joey Dalumpines, Presidential Photo

MANILA - Government and the private sector must agree in deciding whether to further ease quarantine restrictions nationwide as discordant opinions confuse the public, Senator Franklin Drilon said Monday.

The decision should be based on science and evidence and "must be a part of a general plan," according to the senator.

The country had a hard time managing the pandemic because it imposed quarantines "without any plan ahead of time on what to do," Drilon said, citing it had the "longest, most severe" lockdown in the world that resulted in the economy "collapsing last year."

"It should be based on evidence, there must be a unity and there must not be discordant voices...The difference in opinion does not augur well for the confidence of the people, nahihilo ang mga tao (people are confused)," he told ANC's Headstart.

"The extent of the influence on the behavior of the people would depend on the credibility of those who makes the announcements. How can you be credible when different sectors are espousing different views? In the entire country there should be a coordinated effort...that is not happening today."

Drilon urged the government to meet with the private sector to discuss the matter.

"What I'm just saying is the process could be better handled even the private sector because their influencers as we call it. They should be called by Malacanañg to a room, close the door, let them agree. I assume these people have only the good of the country and people at heart," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to decide later Monday on whether to place the entire country under modified general community quarantine, the lowest of a 4-step lockdown.