Photo courtesy of The Philippine Star

In a late public address, Duterte has approved that National Capital Region (NCR), along with other areas, will shift to general community quarantine (GCQ) starting Monday, June 1.

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines, the oldest, broadest, and only-existing alliance of tertiary student publications in the country and in Southeast Asia, reiterates the importance of free mass testing, contract tracing, and isolation given the increasing threats posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

As of May 27, there were 22,543 individuals who have tested positive, but only 15,588 have been “confirmed”. 6,955 backlog cases are yet to be validated. Moreover, only 7,666 unique individuals were tested on the same date which is contrary to spokesperson Harry Roque’s statement on May 25, that the country has the capacity to conduct 32,100 tests per day since May 20.

“It is sufficient to conclude that the conflicting claims of the state regarding the flattening of the curve don’t hold any merit. ECQ has been implemented for more than two months, yet only militaristic lockdown was implemented. No concrete measures to curb the virus have been seen. The state is clearly fooling the Filipino people for they do not exhibit transparency and they must be held accountable,” said CEGP national president Daryl Angelo Baybado.

“GCQ without mass testing is like entering a warzone without any weapon. Duterte never genuinely care for the Filipino people. He just wants to save the already-dying economy owned by foreign and local corporations,” he added.

“The ineptitude of the current government in addressing the pandemic by using militaristic action instead of health-based solutions merits our collective objection.”

CEGP would like to emphasize that lack of proper information dissemination and coordination within the government resulted in confusing and conflicting claims. The Filipino people deserve a clear and proper communication of information during this time of the pandemic.

Many people are facing unemployment and hunger as a result of the government’s gross negligence. The inadequacy and bureaucracy of social programs in order to properly address the needs of the marginalized have been continuously glossed over by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

CEGP calls on the government to heed the people’s demands for a pro-people response during this immense time of need while practicing transparency and accountability on the usage of funds allocated for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Guild stands strong together with the Filipino people who are institutionally victimized by the fascist administration.


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