Senator Nancy Binay on Sunday urged the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to come up with a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow “blue book” for the public, local government units (LGUs) and essential businesses in the private sector which would serve as a guide on what to do and expect once the enhanced community quarantine is relaxed or lifted on May 15 — which is practically 20 days from April 26.
“It’s filling in the details. This is about guiding the public of what to expect once restrictions in traveling and going to work are relaxed, and how to manage people’s expectations. A ‘blue book’ also serves as a handy instruction manual for essential businesses on how to retrofit their establishments to the new normal,” the senator pointed out.
“We are asking the people to embrace the new normal. Pero ang tanong: Is the government and the private sector ready for the new normal?”
According to Binay, the current IATF guidelines has enough content to be transposed into an illustrated format which can serve as a handbook for public transport operators, building management firms, schools, restaurants, hotels, shops, amusement and entertainment centers.
“From this week until the end of May, dapat may mga infomercials na sa TV at social media, downloadable pamphlets, and posters about the expected changes in a new normal world. Parang FAQs upang masagot ang mga tanong at mga pagaalinlangan, at ang pangalawa ay to institutionalize minimum public health protocols like personal hygiene, and social distancing in a more systematic fashion,” the senator said.
Binay added that even before the expected May 15 lifting, the IATF should share to the public its roadmap in transitioning to the new normal.
“It’s a given that we will have to live with the virus everyday in our lives until a vaccine is available. Importante na ipaalam ng gobyerno sa publiko kung meron mang public-private initiated exit plans at strategic transition roadmaps para makapaghanda din tayo at makapag-adjust,” she noted.
Binay said it would be remiss for the government if it lifts the lockdown without the necessary safety nets in place to control disease transmission, such as minimizing risks in vulnerable areas like public markets, trains and buses, workplaces, including the health system’s capacity to test, isolate and treat every covid case, and trace every contact.
“Bago pa man dumating ang May 15, preventive measures should already be in place in order to minimize the risk of community infection. This is why the government must launch an aggressive multi-sectoral information campaign so that the exit plan is coordinated, and the people are fully informed, engaged and accountable to live under a new normal,” the senator noted. /Stacy Ang