Bong Go urges government to provide masks to protocol violators

“As he reminds authorities to instill discipline while showing compassion in fighting COVID-19”

Following the stern order of President Rodrigo Duterte to the Philippine National Police to arrest mask protocol violators, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has urged the government to also provide them with free masks as the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Bilang chair ng Senate Committee on Health, sang-ayon ako na kailangang mas higpitan ang pagpapatupad ng mga protocols para maiwasan ang lalong pagkalat ng sakit,” he said.

“Subalit, maliban sa tapang upang madisiplina ang ayaw talaga sumunod, kailangan din natin ng malasakit para sa mga kababayan nating hindi makasunod dahil sa kahirapan ng buhay at kakulangan ng tamang impormasyon,” he emphasized.

Go said that the PNP and the Department of Trade and Industry, along with his office, have already agreed to provide free masks to detainees who violated the health protocol.

“Kanina po kinausap ko po si General Eleazar, ‘yung incoming PNP Chief, pati si (DTI) Secretary Mon Lopez, along with my office,” Go shared in his speeches during the launches of two newly opened Malasakit Centers in Mt. Province and Apayao on May 7.

“Napagkasunduan po namin na kapag nahuli po ng pulis at bago ilagay sa selda at tuturuan, ile-lecture, ay bigyan po ng face mask dahil baka ang mga ito ay wala talagang pambili ng face mask, kawawa naman. Baka doon pa sila magkahawaan sa selda,” he said.

Go reminded authorities of the need to instill discipline while showing compassion to poor and vulnerable sectors in order for them to comply with the necessary guidelines to keep communities safe from the threats of COVID-19.

“Maliban sa pagbigay ng libreng mask, turuan rin dapat ang taumbayan kung bakit importante ang mga patakarang ito. Sa panahong ito na kung saan andyan pa ang banta ng kalabang hindi naman nakikita, kailangan natin ang disiplina at pakikiisa ng bawat Pilipino,” he said.

“Handa ang gobyernong magmalasakit at gawin ang lahat para mailigtas ang buhay ng ating mga kababayan lalo na yung mga hirap na hirap na,” he reiterated.

Go explained that individuals who are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 may still be a carrier of the virus and spread it to others. This makes mask wearing crucial in preventing transmission.

“Nabanggit po ng ating mahal na Pangulo na ipapahuli niya ang mga hindi nagma-mask. Bagama’t ayaw naman ni Pangulo na ikulong kayo at gusto niya pong disiplinahin at turuan po ng leksyon ‘yung mga talagang pasaway… Kasi hindi natin alam na marami pong asymptomatic, iyon po ang nagdadala ng sakit kapag hindi nagma-mask po,” he said.

Go said that he asked President Duterte to also provide free masks to apprehended individuals so that they will not spread the infection should they be detained.

“Kapag hinuli naman sila, naaawa rin naman po kami ni Pangulo,” said Go.

“Kaya kinausap ko po si Pangulong Duterte kagabi, at sabi ko, ‘Mr. President, since namimigay naman tayo ng masks, kapag nahuli mga pasaway, pwede bang pagdating sa presinto, bigyan na lang natin sila ng face mask bago sila umuwi, o bago sila ilagay sa selda baka doon pa magkahawaan’,” the Senator recounted.

Go also emphasized the observation of medical experts that the proper wearing of standard masks reduces the risk of contracting and spreading the virus by 85%. Meanwhile, proper wearing of masks, coupled with face shields and social distancing, further reduces the risk to more than 90%.

“Ako naman po, alam n’yo gagawin po ng kapulisan natin, gusto po nilang mailigtas kayo dahil delikado po na wala kayong mask at napatunayan naman po na 90% ‘pag naka-mask tayo at naka-face shield, maiwasan ang pagkahawa sa COVID-19,” explained the Senator.

“Kaya po disiplina ang kailangan dito, mga kababayan ko. Sumunod kayo sa paalala ng gobyerno habang nagbabakuna tayo,” he reminded.

While he and Duterte empathize with Filipinos, especially those who cannot afford to buy masks, Go said that the policy is aimed at stubborn individuals who refuse to comply with the health guidelines.

“Nakakaawa rin naman po ang Pilipino, lalong-lalo na po ang walang mga face mask. Pero marami dyan mga pasaway rin talaga, dahil hindi nila alam na delikado po talaga itong COVID-19 na sakit,” he said.

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