GCQ: Times of Survival

These times are difficult for all governments and citizens around the world. Our survival depends on our capability to adapt, discipline ourselves and follow established health standards and protocols.

 

Effective today, 1 June 2020, Metro Manila begins its transition to a more relaxed "General Community Quarantine" (GCQ) after 2.5 months of being under an "Enhanced Community Quarantine," or lockdown in layman’s terms. This means that more industries and non-essential businesses can now open, buses can now operate at 50% capacity, and residents are now allowed to go out except for those aged under 21, and those 60 and above as they are more vulnerable to catching the virus. This decision by President Duterte is based on the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force, Metro Manila Mayors and some members of the Economic Development Cluster of the Cabinet.

Despite the classification of Metro Manila as a "high-to-moderate-risk area," the government decided to transition to GCQ as it recognizes the need to jumpstart the economy especially as more companies have decided to massively lay-off employees due to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The government also recognizes the need of daily paid workers to start working to enable them to provide for the basic needs of their families, while recognizing its limitations to sustain the stop-gap Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

 

The government is already feeling the pressure to balance the need to keep the economy afloat with the need to ensure public health and safety from COVID19. In the coming days, the general public is about to feel the pressure of protecting themselves from the virus as more people can now work and travel.

 

Times today call for extraordinary citizenship. Social distancing must be practiced in the same manner as breathing in order to live. Washing of hands today is as important as taking a bath daily since we have no idea who is infected with COVID19 due to increased exposure to asymptomatic carriers. Wearing of facemasks and face shields today is as important as wearing bra and underwear for both gentlemen and ladies.

 

In the new normal, organizing mass gatherings is inhumane as that of promoting the use of illegal drugs. Avoiding kissing and hugging family and relatives is no longer a sign of disrespect but a sign of respect for human life. Not going to school for the entire year is no longer a sign of laziness but a sign of being proactive against the possibility of being infected with the virus.

 

A new way of life is awaiting us until a vaccine is discovered and publicly made available. Citizens are going to be challenged to maintain a responsible and healthy lifestyle in order to survive. Government will continue to be under pressure to deliver and provide the assistance it can to save lives and protect the public.

 

These times are difficult for all governments and citizens around the world. Our survival depends on our capability to adapt, discipline ourselves and follow established health standards and protocols.

 

We have no choice. We must or we die.

 

 

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About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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