Jul 12, 2020

Anxious, angry netizens react to IATF decision changes

After releasing on Tuesday a resolution lifting the quarantine in Palawan and the other low-risk areas by May 16, the IATF retracted its resolution the following day, invoking an “honest mistake”, and stating that instead of a total quarantine lifting, it will be a “modified” general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Netizens were never at a loss for words on the apparent indecision of the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 (IATF) on retaining quarantine restrictions in Palawan and other provinces it considered “low risk”.

After releasing on Tuesday a resolution lifting the quarantine in Palawan and the other low-risk areas by May 16, the IATF retracted its resolution the following day, invoking an “honest mistake”, and stating that instead of a total quarantine lifting, it will be a “modified” general community quarantine (MGCQ).

It wasn’t the end of the story, as IATF and presidential spokesperson announced the following day that there will no longer be a MGCQ and all the low-risk provinces will still remain under general community quarantine (GCQ).

“Umasa na ako. So survey lang ‘yon?” one puzzled netizen asked, tongue-in-cheek.

“Excited daw kasi tayo masyado kaya balik GCQ. Tulog ulit tayo isa pa baka balik ECQ ulit,” another netizen pointed out.

Another fancied himself with a play of words, commenting on the Palawan News thread, “Sa susunod, Banana Q o Barbe Q na tayo.”

While most were either angry or anxious, some sucked up the confusion calmly. “Huwag na magmura, para rin sa kaligtasan natin ito,” one netizen advised the others on the same comment thread.

Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) provincial and city director Virgilio Tagle reiterated that the recent pronouncement made is still pending “black and white” guidelines from the national IATF, pointing out that there “may be changes” on the new GCQ guidelines.

“Sa opinyon ko lang, halos parehas pero baka may changes pagdating sa Palawan na baka may mabago ng kaunti,” Tagle said.

Asked to describe how the local government is affected in its own decision-making, a senior official who usually entertained press inquiries responded with a thumbs-up emoji.

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