Ex-VP Binay warns of ‘surge’ if COVID restrictions loosened too soon

Jejomar Binay

MANILA, Philippines — Former Vice President and now senatorial aspirant Jejomar Binay on Thursday warned government officials against the “premature” loosening of COVID-19 restrictions.

According to Binay, officials should learn about what happened in 2020 “when they prematurely loosened restrictions in time for the holidays.”


“We were hit by a surge a few months after, even worse than the surge last year. And it is the people who suffered the most,” he added.

“Dapat mahinahon. Dapat paghandaan at dapat sigurado (We must be calm. Must be prepared and must be sure). It is better to be cautious now, than sorry later,” he added.


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Binay also urged the national government to “rethink priorities” by strengthening the health system instead of spending money on infrastructure, specifically, the infamous Dolomite Beach in Manila Bay.

According to Binay, officials should learn about what happened in 2020 “when they prematurely loosened restrictions in time for the holidays.”

“This should be the time to strengthen our public health system as a defense against any future surge in COVID cases, or future pandemics,” he said.

“But instead, the government would rather spend more money on roads and the Domolite beach than hospitals, medicines, and benefits for health workers. It’s about time we rethink our priorities,” he added.

Binay also reminded that while many in Metro Manila have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, the lack of vaccine access and high vaccine hesitancy persist outside the capital region.

“And while cases are going down in NCR and key areas, hospitals are saying they are not feeling the downtrend, especially in the provinces,” said Binay.

The situation has also been exacerbated by the continued departures of nurses and health care workers, said the former VP.



Ex-VP Binay pushes gov’t to release health worker benefits to prevent further exodus

Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 3 from Oct. 16 to Oct. 31, which means more business establishments have been allowed to open and mobility restrictions have been relaxed.


NCR eases to Alert Level 3; travel curbs also relaxed

Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and some mayors have already expressed readiness for the possible shift from alert level 3 to 2 in Metro Manila.


Some NCR mayors say ready for Alert Level 2

Under alert level 2, venue capacity for businesses and establishments will be increased to 50 percent.


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