Why MECQ isn’t a license to go outside just yet – Opinion

Updated Aug 20, 2021 | Same topic: COVID-19 Updates

This is not the time to be complacent or careless. 

Since the country began COVID-19 quarantine measures in March 2020, much has changed in the way we live our daily lives. Many will probably remember the long lines on the road and supermarkets as people scrambled to hoard supplies and get home to an uncertain future.  

Subdivision gate

There has been no end to quarantine protocols since March 2020

Fast forward to 17 months later, and a few things have already become routine. There are the face masks for instance, along with face shields, temperature scanners, and QR codes. Physical distancing continues to be the norm, with passenger capacities aboard public transportation limited to just 50 percent

Just when we thought balancing between caution and keeping the economy afloat wasn’t going to be any more challenging, along comes the more contagious COVID Delta variant. Its arrival in the country plunged NCR into yet another state of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), either closing down or severely limiting business operations across all industries. 

Closed mall stores

Businesses are again on the receiving end of COVID-19's effects

The government has announced a downgrade of lockdown protocols to the less restrictive modified ECQ (MECQ) for Metro Manila, as well as the provinces of Laguna and Bataan, for the remainder of August. This doesn’t mean, however, that people should put their guard down just yet. As of this writing, over 17,200 new COVID cases have been tallied, for a nationwide total to 1.79 million.  

COVID-19 vaccines have been rolling out in recent months, and people have been thankfully getting their shots. While the inoculations do provide a measure of protection against the virus, it’s not absolute, and there are accounts of patients who have succumbed despite being immunized. 

Train coach

Public transportation is still at 50 percent capacity despite the downgraded lockdown

A vaccine, much like the downgrading of restrictions, is no reason to be complacent. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has decreed that capacity limits on mass transport remain the same, recognizing the fact that we’re not out of the woods yet. Even having your own car shouldn’t be an excuse to flout minimum health protocols and make unnecessary trips to faraway destinations.

As an online portal dedicated to automobiles, Philkotse revels in four-wheeled machines and the mobility they symbolize. At the same time, however, we don't condone the kind of irresponsibility that can (and will) endanger others. Our team is conscientious enough to comply with quarantine protocols, even as we look forward to the day when we can fully indulge in cars again as part of our jobs and passion.   

Barangay home visit

The appeal for citizens to stay home still stands, especially if there are no essential reasons to step outside 

We already have to contend with an overworked health system and a government response that has much room for improvement. This is not the time to be adventurous and tempt your fates. If there is no compelling reason to venture outside, stay home. Depriving yourself of momentary freedom will go a long way to protect your loved ones and your fellow citizens.  

More mobility insights at Philkotse.com.

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph holds a degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman and has been writing professionally since 1999. He has written episodes for CNN Philippines' motoring show Drive, and has worked on corporate projects for MG Philippines and Pilipinas Shell. Aside from being Philkotse.com’s Content Lead, he also writes content for numerous car dealerships in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Maserati, among others.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kapatilya

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