Stay home or go on vacation? Senators want clarity on gov’t policy

By: Christia Marie Ramos - Reporter / @CMRamosINQ - | October 23,2020 - 05:57 PM

PARADISE REGAINED These beach lovers take in the refreshing view of a newly rehabilitated Boracay ahead of its soft opening when hordes of tourists are expected to descend on the famed resort island. INQUIRER file photo / MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — Senators have requested the executive branch to clarify its position on restrictions in terms of the public’s movement amid the pandemic.

“May we be clarified about the position of the government if they are encouraging people to stay at home, or are they really inviting people to go on vacation and sight-seeing despite the unabated rise of COVID- 19 cases…?” read a document containing the compiled comments and queries of senators on the implementation of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, also dubbed as “Bayanihan 2.”

Under the Bayanihan 2 law, President Rodrigo Duterte is required to submit a monthly report to a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. Duterte submitted his first report last Oct. 5.

The Senate, meanwhile, transmitted its comments and questions to the Office of the President on Oct. 21, a copy of which was made available to the media by the Office of Senator Sonny Angara.

Angara chairs the Senate panel of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee.

The Senate’s compiled comments also noted that the number of total COVID-19 cases in the country “has put the Philippines in the list of Top 20 nations in the world with the most number of infections even if a large swath of our country and economy has been under a prolonged lockdown for more than 200 days.”

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier invited the public to visit the newly reopened Boracay following months of lockdown.

“Ang mensahe po ng Presidente, kinakailangan mabuhay po tayo sa kabila ng COVID-19. Puwede naman po gawin yan sa pamamagitan ng pag-ingat sa ating mga buhay nang tayo po’y maghanapbuhay,” Roque had said in an online briefing from Boracay.

(The President’s message, we have to live despite the COVID-19 pandemic. We can do that by caring for our life while we work.)

As of Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 363,888 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 312,333 recoveries and 6,783 deaths.

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