Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto said there is a need to open the economy while keeping the gains that the government has achieved in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sotto made this remark as he defended the city government’s move to keep the movie theaters closed regardless of the final decision by President Rodrigo Duterte on the recommendation to place Metro Manila under most relaxed modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) beginning March 1.
“We’ve seen how the lockdowns have affected our economy, people have lost jobs, people are going hungry,” Sotto said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Final Word on Saturday
He said 5 percent of the businesses in Pasig City have closed due to the pandemic.
“The actual numbers probably higher than 5 percent,” he added. “But obviously we have to balance that with protecting our gains when it comes to fighting Covid.”
Sotto said the city government will make sure that necessary policies will be strictly imposed even under MGCQ.
“We really consult the experts in everything that we do, to me, a lot of talks has gone all about GCQ or MGCQ but I think at this point, it doesn’t matter what you call it — what matter is what the policies are in place,” he said.
Trust on Covid-19 vaccines
Sotto cited the “high level of distrust in Covid-19 vaccines” among people, not only in the country but also worldwide.
The low confidence of the people, he said, somehow was caused by the spreading of disinformation, fake news, and other news that are taken out of context.
Sotto said people should trust the experts and the scientific evidence.
“What’s important now for the local government — but really for all of us — is we need to help each other and educate one another so that we trust the vaccines,” he said. “After all these vaccines have emergency use authorization and approved by our FDA [Food and Drug Administration].”
Sotto said he is willing to get vaccinated with any brand of Covid-19 vaccine that will arrive first in the city.
The city government, he said, will strictly follow the vaccination guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH) to prioritize the medical and other healthcare workers in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.
Sotto cited the importance of prioritizing the medical professional in the vaccination program.
“And I feel that when we see our doctors, our nurses, our healthcare front-liners, trusting the vaccine and getting vaccinated and we see that they’re okay after, then the general public will also start trusting the vaccine more,” Sotto said. (PNA)