Following the government’s decision to pilot run the limited reopening of schools in low-risk areas or municipalities which have zero COVID-19 cases, Senator Win Gatchalian urged the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to carefully consider easing quarantine restrictions to pave the way for the resumption of many business operations.

“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,” the veteran legislator added.The Senate Economic Affairs Vice-Chairperson took note of a study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) saying 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 to 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 seasoned lawmaker said, adding that working parents will hopefully be more productive to focus on work with the reopening of classes.

“Parents are also employees.”

Key findings by the NEDA showed that the long-run total cost of COVID-19 and quarantines on the present and future generations is estimated at P41.4 trillion.

The senator likewise called for the acceleration of vaccinating informal sector workers and self-employed individuals to allow them to return to work or seek employment opportunities.

“The acceleration of vaccinating informal sector workers and self-employed individuals will allow them to return to work or seek employment opportunities.”

Data from the National COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard showed that as of September 24, 2021 a total of 2,718,947 indigent population or those under the A5 category for inoculation 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 front liners 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.

The A4 priority group covers those private sector workers and government employees who need to be physically present in their workplace, as well as those so-called informal sector workers and self-employed individuals who work outside their homes and those working in private households.



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