Extending lockdown by 2 weeks ‘necessary’, supported by majority-Panelo

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Palaces spokesperson Salvador Panelo said there was an emerging consensus for extending the Luzon-wide lockdown for another two weeks.

“There is an emerging consensus coming from medical experts, businessmen, government officials, and other well meaning individuals that an extension of two weeks for the enhanced community quarantine or lockdown is necessary,” Salvador Panelo said in an emailed statement on Sunday, April 5.

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Panelo also said it might be too early to end the enhanced community quarantine, adding President Rodrigo Duterte was “all ears and eyes” on the COVID-19 situation.

“He is evaluating the best option to take that will effectively [e]nsure the success of our war against this wily and faceless global enemy. He will make this decision in due time,” Panelo said.

Vice President Leni Robredo supports extending lockdown

VP Leni Robredo expressed her support to a 15-to-20-day lockdown extension but urged the government to implement a decentralization of cash aid distribution. 

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“I think it is crucial that people understand why [the extension] has to be done. If they don’t understand why it is necessary, there will be resistance,” Robredo said in a television interview.

“I think this resistance will be lessened if people understand why it needs to be done [and] if their basic needs are met,” she added.

Robredo said local governments should do the relief distribution under the social amelioration program, not the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

“Anything that is too centralized will affect the speed,” she said. “I think local governments should do the distribution, because they have the sense of what is happening on the ground.”

Opposition Representative Edcel Lagman of Albay province also supported the extension of the Luzon lockdown. However, he recommended LGUs should also extend the steady supply of food and financial aid to the people.

He also said it conducting mass testing for the COVID-19 would be counterproductive when the ECQ had been already lifted.

Last week, a Filipino scientist also recommended the lockdown extension, citing the Philippines needs two to three to flatten the curve or lessen the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

As of this writing, the Philippines has 3,246 confirmed cases, 152 deaths, and 64 recoveries.

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