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Filipinos only 50% compliant with minimum health standards vs. COVID-19, says DILG exec

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that the public scored only 50 percent when it came to compliance with the minimum health standards against COVID-19.

Citing a report from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Malay noted that the minimum health standards include the wearing of face masks, physical distancing, and disinfection.

“According to the NEDA study, ang ating compliance percentage for minimum health standards is only 50 percent,” Malaya said in a launching event on Wednesday.

"Across all po ito from face masks, physical distancing, and disinfection," he added.

Contact tracing czar and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong attributed the non-compliance of Filipinos to "human behavior," saying it would take time for Filipinos to adjust to the new normal.

“Nasanay tayo e. You cannot change human behavior in just a matter of six months. It would take some time,” Magalong said during the event.

Magalong said that penalties and punishment should be used to improve compliance rates.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier announced that Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Batangas will stay under general community quarantine (GCQ). He also said the cities of Bacolod and Tacloban will be under GCQ.

Iligan meanwhile had been placed under a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine from September 1 to 30.

For Malaya, these areas can be allowed to shift to a more relaxed modified GCQ if the public reaches at least 80 percent of compliance with the minimum health standards.

“I think for us to go to MGCQ kailangan mapataas natin to at least to 80 percent. We have the entire month of September to make this happen so that we can make that recommendation,” Malaya said.

Earlier, a survey conducted by YouGov in partnership with Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London showed 91 percent of Filipinos always wear masks whenever they go out. — BM, GMA News