Gov’t seeks understanding after quarantine flip-flop spawns confusion, frustration

MANILA — Government on Friday asked for understanding after it backpedalled on a new anti-COVID strategy, which created confusion and frustration among some residents of Metro Manila. 

The capital region was supposed to shift to a looser lockdown level to spur business activity from last Wednesday until Sept. 30. But Malacañang postponed this policy just hours before its implementation, when some businesses and sectors like the church were already prepared for a reopening.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said he announced the shift on Sept. 6 because there a written resolution had been released by the inter-agency task force on COVID-19.

The task force later backpedalled on the announcement because it has yet to iron out the alert level for Metro Manila and the possible privileges for residents fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. 

“All I can say is that the debates are continuing and we’re aiming to provide the best alternative to a hard lockdown. Hindi po madaling proseso ‘yon. Humihingi po kami ng pag-intindi galing sa publiko,” Roque said in a press briefing.

(That is not an easy process. We ask for understanding from the public.)

“Alam ko po hindi dapat nagfi-flipflop dahil kinakailangan ng predictability,” he added. 

(I know that it should not be flip-flopping because predictability is necessary.)

The task force has “provisionally” approved the Sept. 16 to 30 pilot run of a new policy, under which Metro Manila would have only 2 quarantine levels.

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