Will the lockdown continue beyond April 30?
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to decide on this and possibly announce the decision tomorrow, April 23. While the health sector is pushing for a sustained lockdown cum enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the business sector is saying otherwise. Indeed, the economy has come to a halt because of Coronavirus disease (Covid 19) and responsive governance need to come-in.
Governance is the balancing of interests of all stakeholders. While the sustained ECQ will be beneficial to everyone’s health (assuming the guidelines are strictly followed), it also bleeds the resources not only of the government but also everybody’s. So while in long term the ideal is the sustained ECQ, it is not realistic. For this, we are saying that selective lockdown– or in areas only where there are Covid-19 positive cases — is better and will bring most benefits for the greater good.
- Economic activities can resume in non-affected areas. This means income will grow.
- With the economic activities resuming, we can expect production to start in non-affected areas. This means food production and the resumption of manufacturing essential goods particularly those related to health.
- With production and manufacturing activities resuming, the population that will not be under the lockdown will have jobs and will not thus become dependent on the government.
- With a segment of population not becoming dependent, the government will then have the ability to refocus the resources to those that are really in need.
- Local officials, particularly barangay officials, will not become a subject of hate and ridicule particularly by disgruntled citizens.
But of course, stricter guidelines should be implemented and enforced. For those affected by lockdowns, borders should really be closed and no one or nothing should enter or exit except food and essential goods.