Metro Manila undergoes third ECQ
For the third time, the Duterte regime placed Metro Manila and Laguna under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the strictest form of lockdown, from August 6 to 20 to purportedly stop the spread of the more infectious Delta variant of Covid-19. The lockdowns in Cagayan de Oro and Iloilo, which have been under ECQ since July, were also extended.
Many were surprised when this was imposed even as NCR residents were given a week to “prepare” for the lockdown. Many establishments will again be shuttered and the number of small and medium enterprise bankruptcies is expected to rise further. These enterprises comprise around 80% of the total businesses which have been affected by repeated implementation of ECQ. The NCR is set to lose ₱105 billion in income per week and 444,000 jobs because of the lockdown.
Last year, 62.1% of households experienced food insecurity and malnutrition due to these restrictions.
The regime’s failed pandemic response is clearly the reason why it continues to resort to implementing these economic restrictions which make majority of the people suffer from hunger. On July 31 and August 5, progressive groups protested in Quezon City to demand aid amid the ECQ. Workers also demanded price controls of basic commodities, and temporary suspension of payment of electricity, water and other utility bills.