Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion has backed down on his proposal for the Duterte administration to shift to a selective or barangay quarantine at the end of the 30-day Luzon-wide lockdown on April 13.
Concepcion revealed that 90 percent of businessmen and corporate executives of medium to large companies were backing the Inter-Agency Task Force’s proposal to extend the enhance community quarantine by another two weeks.
Concepcion had previously warned that the economy could not afford another “reset” button by extending the lockdown which shut down all public and private offices and public transportation to force millions of Filipinos to stay home. Concepcion, whose family makes food products and appliances, recommended that lockdowns be limited to barangay checkpoints abolished, and factories of basic goods should be allowed to operate fully.
In a statement, Concepcion said majority of the business who attended a consultative meeting with Trade Secretary Mon Lopez and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia last April 5 were keen to “avoid a possible relapse and ensure a definitive flattening of the curve.”
Concepcion, however, is not giving up on his barangay quarantine proposal. “The two-week extension of the lockdown can be used to prepare for the implementation of Barangay Quarantines. This will provide us ample time to develop and establish a more sustainable mitigation system, which will follow the guidelines provided by the IATF. The Barangay quarantine approach, if successful, can be used continuously until a cure is found,” said Concepcion.
Concepcion recommended that the mayor and barangay captains be empowered to implement a lockdown in their affected areas, while following simple and easy-to-follow guidelines setup by the National Task Force (NTF). The NTF will provide the criteria of when a targeted area should be put under lockdown and for how long.
Depending on the number and location of the confirmed cases per area, the Barangay Quarantine can be expanded to become a City/Municipality Quarantine, and even a Provincial Quarantine, should a wider scale lockdown be necessary.