Filipinos have been cooperative during the first day of implementation of the community quarantine being imposed in Metro Manila to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Malacañang said Sunday.
“Sa ngayon nakikita ko maganda ang implementation pati kooperasyon ng tao nakikita ko dahil pinakita ang EDSA kanina hanggang ngayon walang katao-tao. Ibig sabihin lahat ng tao kilala ang kalagayan natin. (For now, I can see that implementation is good. I can see that people are cooperating because I saw EDSA and there are barely any people there),” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in an interview over dzIQ.
Panelo also allayed fears that only military and police personnel were placed at checkpoints, assuring that there were health workers there to check motorists’ temperature.
“Merong mga health workers. May mga doktor na kasama (There are health workers. They are accompanied by doctors),” he said.
The community quarantine, which will be in effect from March 15 to April 14, limits people’s movement to “accessing basic necessities and work” and place uniformed personnel and quarantine personnel at border points. It also suspends land, air, and sea travel to and from Metro Manila.
Panelo also denied its comparisons to martial law, stressing that nobody has been arrested or detained.
“Meron na bang inaresto? Pag martial law maraming naaresto, maraming kinukulong (Did anyone get arrested? If it’s martial law, many would be arrested, many would be detained),” he said.
He insisted that the military was necessary to provide the government with additional manpower since health workers were also busy assisting patients in hospitals and quarantine centers.
“Kailangan natin ang military kasi kailangan natin ng manpower. Kailangan natin ang kooperasyon ng bawat ahensiya ng gobyerno (We need the military because we need manpower. We need the cooperation of all agencies of government),” he said.
Meanwhile, he also assured that the government has enough funds to provide workers such as sidewalk vendors who may temporarily lose their means of livelihood due to health authorities’ advice to stay home.
He said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be providing poor communities with food packages to ensure that they do not run out of supply.
He also asked the public to make “sacrifices” and comply with government protocols in place to minimize the risk of contracting the highly-infectious disease.
As of Sunday, the Department of Health (DOH) said there are 140 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country including 11 deaths.
Source: Philippines News Agency