Binay, Garin: Gov’t should ensure implementation of anti-COVID-19 measures under alert level system


Two lawmakers on Wednesday said anti-COVID 19 measures such as aggressive testing and contact tracing should be implemented under the new alert level system, which will have a pilot implementation in Metro Manila for two weeks.

The National Capital Region (NCR) would be placed under Alert Level 4— the second highest alert level under the new scheme—during the first week of the pilot implementation beginning on Thursday.

Under Alert Level 4, there will be certain restrictions for establishments and activities that would fall under the so-called 3Cs, which refer to closed spaces, crowded spaces, and activities that promote close contact, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Certain indoor activities will also be allowed for the fully vaccinated.

“Hanggang hindi natin nari-raise ang testing, tracing, kahit anong alert pa gawin natin we will go back to the same problem,” Senator Nancy Binay said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay online forum.

(If we do not raise our testing and tracing numbers, no matter what the alert level is, we will go back to the same problem.)


Iloilo Representative Janette Garin agreed with Binay’s suggestion, saying lockdowns are not the solution to the pandemic.

“No country in the world is using lockdown, whether it’s general or granular lockdown, as a cure to the pandemic,” said Garin, a former Health secretary. “It’s an opportunity for us to prepare.”

She said the government should pay for testing costs.

In a statement on Tuesday, Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire called for an intensified active case finding, risk-based testing using RT-PCR, and vaccination among high-risk groups during the pilot run.

“There will also be intensified granular lockdowns from barangay down to the household level to contain transmission,” she said.

Food assistance will be given to the residents affected by the granular lockdowns, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government. — RSJ, GMA News