Which do you prefer — to be under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or the general community quarantine (GCQ)?
When President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order No. 112 on April 30, 2020 imposing the ECQ in ‘high risk geographic areas” and a GCQ for the rest of the country until May 15, most felt they were freed from prison. The others — well, they wanted to stay under ECQ. These include officals from the local governments of Zamboanga City, La Union province, and towns in Albay province.
But why would some opt to remain under ECQ? Are they afflicted with a variant of a post incarceration syndrome where they wanted to go back in prison rather assimilate in the society?
For Mayor Beng Climaco of Zamboanga City as well as the League of Mayors in Albay, nothing beats the side of caution. There is still no vaccine against Covid-19 and the risks are high considering that the health facilities in their localities are still unprepared and their respective local health systems are still far from international standards.
Second, Zamboanga City caters not only to the towns in the Zamboanga Peninsula but also those in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao while Albay is also the hub of people and industries in the Bicol Region particularly the provinces of Catanduanes, Sorsogon and Masbate. If both areas are downgraded to GCQ, mobility may become more lax and Coronavirus will have a greater chance to spread. If this happens, a rebound of Covid-19 cases is more likely and could even be higher based on the experience of Singapore and based on projections of Philippine data analysts.