Bong Go pushes for stricter enforcement of health protocols against COVID-19

To fully ‘flatten the curve’ of the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go calls for stricter enforcement of necessary health and safety protocols, especially in public places, as well as greater cooperation and continuing vigilance from the public as the country carefully balances efforts to jumpstart the economy while continuing to protect the health of Filipinos.

“I urge concerned agencies to strictly enforce necessary health and safety protocols, especially in public places. Gustuhin man natin bumalik sa normal ang pamumuhay ng mga tao, unahin dapat natin ang kapakanan at buhay ng mga ordinaryong Pilipino,” Go said.

In order to strictly implement health protocols, such as mandatory wearing of masks in public, Go said that the government should provide free masks in areas frequently visited by the public.

“Let’s be more proactive in implementing a stricter mask wearing policy. Kung walang mask ang tao, bigyan natin. Lalo na sa mga lugar na madalas puntahan,” Go urged.

In line with this, Go appealed to the government to distribute free masks at public markets and other areas commonly visited by Filipinos for their essential needs.

“Ang mga public markets natin ay isa sa mga lugar kung saan madalas bisitahin ng mga tao. Dito rin nabubuhay ang lokal na ekonomiya ng mga komunidad. Habang sinusubukan nating maiahon ang kabuhayan ng mga tao, patuloy rin nating protektahan sila mula sa sakit,” Go said.

On top of distributing masks in public places, Go also urged concerned agencies to provide masks to those who cannot afford to buy their own and also help local industries by supporting local producers and manufacturers of masks.

“Wearing masks can save lives. Buying locally made masks can also provide jobs. Magtulungan po tayo upang makabangon tayo muli mula sa krisis na ito,” he said.

Go echoed the observation of medical experts that the proper wearing of standard masks reduces the risk of contracting and spreading the virus by 85%.

Meanwhile, proper wearing of masks, coupled with face shields and social distancing, further reduces the risk to more than 90%.

The Senator also asked public market administrators with the help of local government units to provide free hand washing facilities in public places nationwide in order to ensure that the public can practice proper hygiene, such as washing of hands, while they engage in their daily activities.

“Kailangang masigurong palaging may libreng sabon at running water. Apela ko sa mga LGUs at public market administrators na i-provide ito ng libre sa mga tao,” he said.

He also appealed to motorcycle drivers and owners to sanitize their backriding barriers more frequently as he urged the Department of Health to come up with guidelines on proper way of cleaning barriers.

“Linisin at i-sanitize palagi ang mga kagamitan na madalas exposed sa iba’t ibang elemento. Dagdag ingat lang po tayo. Panatilihing malinis ang ating kagamitan at kapaligiran. Tulad ng ating mga sinasakyan — ‘yung motor pati ‘yung barrier — i-sanitize kaagad pagkatapos ng bawat gamit,” Go mentioned.

Meanwhile, Go urged the general public not to be complacent despite findings of some experts showing positive signs that the country is on its way to flattening the curve.

Go reminded the public to continue to cooperate with the government, show their compassion to their fellow Filipinos, and remain vigilant against the disease.

“Huwag tayo maging kampante, hindi pa tapos ang laban. Mas paigtingin pa natin ang pag-implementa ng health and safety protocols para tuluyang maitigil na ang pagkalat ng COVID-19,” Go urged, stressing that the gains of the community quarantine measures in the past months should be sustained and not be taken for granted.

Go’s statement came after Dr. Guido David of the University of the Philippines OCTA Research Team said over the weekend that the curve of COVID-19 infections particularly in Metro Manila and CALABARZON has already flattened.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Metro Manila hospitals had also gone down in the recent weeks.

DOH reported on Sunday, September 6, that hospital occupancy in the National Capital Region was at 66% for ICU beds, 64% in isolation beds, and 66% in ward beds.

“Sanayin na natin ang ating mga sarili sa mga health protocols na ito. Ang todo pag-iingat ay parte na ng ating tinatawag na new normal. Ipagpatuloy lang po natin ang pagsunod sa mga patakaran. Let us work together to keep the invisible enemy at bay and buy more time until there is a vaccine available,” Go appealed.

“Hindi lang pag-adapt sa new normal ang inaasam natin kundi maibalik sana ‘yung dating normal. ‘Yung buhay na makakalabas tayo at mayayakap natin ang kapwa nating Pilipino,” Go said.