‘Hindi lang quarantine, kwarta rin’ on suggested ECQ extensions: Pangilinan

April 11, 2021

SENATOR Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan calls for financial assistance to residents of Covid-overloaded Metro Manila and nearby provinces who face extended stricter lockdowns.

“Sabi nga sa nakita ko sa social media: Hindi lang quarantine, kwarta rin ang kailangan ng ating mga kababayan. Hirap na naman ang hanapbuhay kung ma-extend ang ECQ (I saw this on social media: Aside from quarantine, our people also need money. Livelihoods are again difficult if enhanced community quarantine is extended),” he said in a media interview Sunday.

“Importante hanapan ng solusyon, hanapan ng ayuda yung budget,” he said, adding that he, together with Senators Nancy Binay, Leila De Lima, Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, and Ralph Recto, requested for another Senate Committee of the Whole hearing on government’s Covid response.

Pangilinan also urges the ramping up of testing, tracing, and isolation during ECQ.

“If the ECQ would be extended for two to three weeks, dapat ang testing, tracing, at isolation ay isinasagawa nang maayos,” he said, noting that even contact tracing czar Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said that contact tracing dropped from seven to three contact traced for every Covid infection.

“That means parang walang tunay na contact tracing na nangyayari. Pamilya lang ang na-co-contact trace,” he added.

Pangilinan asks residents covered by the ECQ to be extra careful and strictly follow the health protocols of always having air circulation, physical distancing of at least one meter, always wear face mask and face shield, and time limitation of 30 minutes or less any interaction outside the home.

“I was just in a meeting with former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral yesterday, sabi niya dahil mas matindi ang bilang ng kaso ng Covid dito sa NCR at karatig-probinsya ngayon at kailangan ng mas matinding vigilance at pag-iingat. Kailangan double-up sa pag-iingat,” he said.

Pangilinan gives the assurance that the Senate will continue to find solutions to the effects of Covid-19, and shares that his office is supporting Vice President Leni Robredo’s medical teleconsultation for those who may be feeling Covid symptoms or may have been exposed to Covid-positive individuals.

Given that access to medical advice is limited, he said: “Tingnan lang sa Facebook ng OVP [https://www.facebook.com/OVPBayanihanEKonsulta/], at pwede na tayong bigyan ng guidance ng mga healthcare professionals.”

Pangilinan also supports Vice President Robredo’s Swab Cab initiative which gives financial assistance to those who test positive and isolate.

“Baka pwede ring gawing national policy ito para mawala ang agam-agam at ma-engganyo na magpatest ang marami (Maybe this can be a national policy so that people will not be anxious and be more willing to take the Covid test),” he said

 “Ang puno’t dulo ay sino pa ang magtutulungan, tayo-tayo rin,” he added.

Over the past few weeks, the Philippines has been experiencing the biggest surges in Covid cases. As of April 10, the country has recorded 853,209 total Covid cases, 190,245 active cases, and 14,744 Covid deaths.