Former Vice President Jejomar Binay has criticized the Philippine Government for refusing to acknowledge that the intensified quarantine measures they’ve recently put up are akin to a lockdown.

This is in response to the expansion of Metro Manila’s strengthened quarantine protocols to nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal. 

These areas have returned to general community quarantine (GCQ) on March 22 and will stay in this ‘bubble’ until April 4, following the new memorandum released by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on Sunday (March 21).

In a tweet, former Makati City Mayor Binay said the government is refusing to refer to the “bubble” as a lockdown since their admission will mean “failure,” “neglect,” and “incompetence.”

He adds that the government should “stop blaming the people.”

In a recent Talk to the People press briefing, Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque attributed the increase in cases to people not following health guidelines when it comes to the wearing of face masks and face shields. He shares that some see compliance only as a “token.”

He adds that the increase in mobility due to the opening of the Philippine economy is also a factor to blame for the current exponential increase in COVID-19 cases. 

“Iyong increased mobility po ng mga tao nagdulot din ng increased transmission, increased contact rate kanya po nakikita niyo exponential, tumaas po ang bilang ng mga kaso,” Duque remarked.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque officially announced the creation of the new ‘bubble’ on Sunday (March 21), which was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte. 

The new memorandum will see the banning of indoor dining and all mass gatherings. In addition, weddings, funerals, and baptisms will be limited to 10 persons. 

Those who can travel out and within the bubble include authorized persons outside their residence (APORs), frontline and essential workers, media personnel, government officials, emergency responders, those traveling to the airport, and returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

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