Concepcion Pushes for GCQ, Urges Barangay Lockdown

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion backs the third recommendation of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) to transition to a General Community Quarantine (GCQ) for the National Capital Region (NCR), while allowing local government units (LGUs) to implement lockdowns on the barangay level as needed.

Concepcion, who is supported by different organizations, business chambers and conglomerates, stressed that it is time to shift from Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to GCQ, with selective quarantines at the barangay level. “I have been consistent since the first day of the lockdown. We need to move towards a selective barangay quarantine approach. This has been the private sector’s position, which I had presented during the meeting with the President three weeks ago.

“The economy cannot take another two weeks under ECQ. We need to take the necessary steps to revive the economy now. And it will be gradual as people are still cautious to go back to work. Even as the food industry continues to produce essential food for the entire country, we only have 80% of the workers back and we cannot run three shifts.”

The MMC, composed of mayors of the 16 cities and one municipality, forwarded three recommendations to the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF). One was to extend ECQ for another 15 days, at maximum; second was to extend the GCQ “until whenever necessary,” and third is the GCQ for NCR, but with selective barangay lockdown. Concepcion stresses that the third option offers the best balance – protecting public health, while allowing the urgent yet cautious steps to restart the economy.

“Balancing buhay and kabuhayan is not easy that is why we must gradually and cautiously lift the lockdown and safely bring people back to work. This is what needs to be done to save lives, as well support the livelihoods of our MSMEs.”

“By May 15, most of the population will have been under quarantine for two months, or 4 resets. Despite the challenge in testing capacity, the health situation is improving and we in the private sector have been helping the government increase its testing capacity through Project Ark by testing communities using antibody rapid tests and the RT-PCR test. Soon we will achieve a level of testing that can support the complete reopening of the economy,” he shared.

The GCQ with selective barangay quarantine, if implemented successfully, will help reinstate public confidence and revive the economy. The selective barangay quarantine is the most sustainable approach to containing the virus, and can be used continuously until a cure is found.