National Task Force Covid-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. on Tuesday said the imposition of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) is not a sustainable strategy in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.

He said enforcing “granular lockdowns” would be more effective and would preserve jobs and help revive the economy.

“Nakita po namin na MECQ is not a sustainable strategy; ang pinaka-way forward talaga po iyong granular implementation ng lockdowns. Kasi po kapag nag-MECQ po tayo, ang laki po ng collateral sa livelihood ng mga tao po natin,” he said during a Palace briefing.

A two-week MECQ was implemented in Metro Manila and nearby provinces from Aug. 14 to 18 after frontliners pleaded for a “time-out.” However, the areas will revert to the less stringent general community quarantine starting tomorrow, Aug. 19.

Galvez said the government needed the local government units (LGUs) to be more hands-on in strategizing for local lockdowns.

Cabinet officials were earlier tasked to help LGUs monitor health system performance, critical care capacity and citizens’ compliance with surveillance, isolation and treatment protocols in the “national government-enabled, local government-led and people-centered” Covid-19 response strategy.

Prolonged lockdowns haved forced the economy into recession. It also caused the ranks of the jobless to soar to 27.3 million in the second quarter of 2020, according to an SWS poll.

As of Aug. 18, 169,213 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the country. John Ezekiel J. Hirro