Seven out of 10 Filipinos or 71 percent of Filipinos believe that the government adequately ensured that the public gets enough information on how to fight COVID-19, according to the results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa inyo at ang IATF ay nagpapasalamat din po. Ito ay isang pagkilala sa amin na mabigyan kayo ng tama at napapanahon na impormasyon tungkol sa paglaban sa coronavirus,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, Jr. during a press briefing in Malacañang on October 19.
The SWS National Mobile Phone Survey conducted from September 17 to 20 looked at the adequacy of government actions in fighting COVID-19. Aside from the adequacy of information on how to fight COVID-19, the survey also considered three other areas of concern. These are: ensuring that there will be extensive contact tracing, ensuring the availability of affordable COVID-19 testing, and ensuring provision of adequate assistance to people who lost jobs or livelihood.
The latest SWS survey showed that 67 percent of Filipinos said that the government is conducting adequate contact tracing activities nationwide. According to the Department of the Interior and Local Government there are now 35,345 contact tracers as of date, and some 15,000 more are to be hired to complete the target of 50,000 contact tracers.
In terms of COVID-19 testing, 54 percent of survey respondents said that the government action is adequate in ensuring the availability of affordable testing for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, there are only 44 percent among respondents who believe that the government adequately acted on ensuring the provision of adequate help for people who have lost their jobs and livelihood.
“Ito ang dahilan kung bakit binubuksan natin po ang ating ekonomiya dahil naniwawala tayo na kailangan matuto ang mga Pilipino mabuhay bagama’t nariyan po ang COVID-19,” said Secretary Roque.
“Ito rin po ang dahilan kung bakit binubuksan pa po natin yung sektor ng transportasyon dahil syempre po kung sarado pa rin ang transportasyon talagang hindi makakapasok pa rin sa trabaho ang mga merong trabaho,” added the Palace spokesman.
In the same press briefing, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said that President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed exploration again in the West Philippine Sea following the lifting of the moratorium on the area.
The Energy chief underscored that the lifting of the moratorium is a concrete action on the part of the government and gives hope for Filipinos on finding a new source of energy that would ensure energy security in the future. He added that explorations in the West Philippine Sea will also pave way for investments, and therefore can bring employment opportunities for Filipinos and will help revive the economy.
Sec. Cusi likewise stressed that the lifting of the moratorium is an exercise of our sovereign rights and in no way weakens the arbitral decision. Secretary Roque agreed saying that, “Although sovereign rights are defined as exclusive rights, exclusive right may be shared by others. The decision to share is part of the sovereign rights and a sovereign decision as well.”
On another matter, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia, Jr. announced in the said press briefing that Metro Manila mayors decided to raise the age limit of those who will be allowed to go out. Instead of 15 to 65 as recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), the MMDA decided that they will impose the 18-65 age restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The MMDA GM also announced that curfew hours in the NCR will now be from 12AM to 4AM, except for the city of Navotas that will continue to enforce the 8PM to 5AM curfew hours. The MMDA further decided to shorten the curfew hours by December 1, 2020 from 12AM to 3AM to give way for the conduct of religious activities in relation to “Simbang Gabi.”
The MMDA, per recommendation of Metro Manila mayors, likewise recommended to raise the capacity of religious gatherings to 30 percent of venue capacity, subject to approval by the IATF. ###OPS-PCOO