/ 4 October 2021

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian on Sunday urged the Inter-Agency Task Force to carefully consider easing quarantine restrictions so that business operations will resume and parents can return to work.

“Maraming mga magulang ang natengga sa bahay dahil ‘yung iba ay nawalan ng trabaho at ‘yung iba naman ay pinili na lang na manatili sa bahay para gabayan ang mga anak sa distance learning,” Gatchalian said.

“Sa muling pagbubukas ng mga paaralan, makakabalik na rin sa trabaho ang mga magulang at muling sisigla ang takbo ng ekonomiya kasunod ng inaasahang unti-unting paglawak ng pagbubukas ng mga sektor ng transportasyon, edukasyon at mga sangay na negosyo, pati na ang service sector,” he added.

The Senate Economic Affairs Vice Chairperson took note of a study by the Asian Development Bank that in terms of foregone wages of parents who need to stop working to care for their children, the economic cost would amount to P225 billion covering 11% of the affected workforce during the School Year 2020-2021.

“Parents are also employees. Experience has shown that most working parents are unable to work as they need to stay home with their quarantined children, especially with granular lockdowns being enforced in Metro Manila,” the senator said, adding that working parents will hopefully be more productive to focus on work with the reopening of classes.

Key findings by the NEDA showed that the total cost of Covid19 and quarantines on the present and future generations is estimated at P41.4 trillion.

Gatchalian likewise sought the speedy vaccination of informal sector workers and self-employed individuals to allow them to return to work or seek employment opportunities.

Data from the National Covid19 Vaccination Dashboard showed that as of September 24, 2021 a total of 2,718,947 indigent population or those under the A5 category have received the first dose while those who have already been given their second dose and single dose vaccines stood at 1,770,301 only.

A total of 8,895,442 frontliners in the essential sectors or those under the A4 category have so far received their first dose while 5,307,222 already have their second jab and single dose vaccines.