Employers’ group: Don’t wait for herd immunity before reopening economy

An employers group is calling on the government to speed up the acquisition of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines now that President Rodrigo Duterte has not agreed to put the whole country in a more relaxed modified general community quarantine.

For Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) President Sergio Ortiz Luis, they hope the government would not wait to achieve herd – which happens when a large percentage of the country’s entire population is vaccinated – before easing businesses and .

“At the end of the day ang sinasabi namin eh di natin puwede patagalin na ‘to, di na kaya. ‘Yung first batch ng investors hindi sa ‘yo pupunta, naunahan ka na eh, nag-alisan sila, lumipat. Eh sino pa hahabulin mo in 2023?” said the employers’ group official.

According to the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), as Filipinos are plunged into poverty, their chances of getting COVID-19 or getting sick increase.

It is also clear that community quarantine is not effective for controlling and increasing COVID-19 cases. So they call, just help people who want to work like jeep and bus drivers.

Employers’ group: Don’t wait for herd immunity before reopening

“Hindi ka nga magco-COVID mamamatay ka naman sa kawalan ng pagkain. Kung mayroon man ay below standard. Papaano ka magdi-dispensa sa pagkakaroon ng infection ‘no? Palaisipan nga sa ‘min na bubuksan ang cinemas and yet ‘yung other businesses ay hindi bibigyan ng pagkakataon na magbukas,” said Elmer Labog, KMU Chairperson.

It will be recalled that Duterte refused to put the whole country on MGCQ. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles explained that Duterte first wants to see the arrival of vaccines before considering putting the whole country in MGCQ.

“Well, ang sinabi ni Pangulo talaga is there is a time for everything. So in the mind of the president, ang gusto niya mangyari is dapat makita muna niya ‘yung pag-rollout ng vaccines bago siya magdesisyon at magre-reconsider sa MGCQ,” Nograles said in a briefing this Tuesday.

It is expected that by the launch of the government’s inoculation program in March, the Cabinet will give a recommendation to Duterte.

“In terms of timeline, perhaps that may be the same procedure we may follow so kumbaga entire month of March makikita natin ang entire rollout ng vaccination program, and then by the end of March, we will make our recommendations to the President,” said Nograles.