Scrap Alert Level System – Concepcion

Presidential Advisor for Entrepreneurship and Founder of Go Negosyo Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion 3rd

PRESIDENTIAL adviser for entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion 3e on Monday renewed the business sector’s call for the government to abandon alert level systems and instead focus on how to further spur the recovery of the economy after the coronavirus pandemic.

The founder of Go Negosyo said it was crucial for the country to give businesses more breathing space, especially with the record national debt of more than 12.7 trillion pesos it has to pay.

“Many countries, such as European countries and Canada, are at Level 3 and still at high risk and this was updated on May 31, 2022,” he said during the Laging Handa televised briefing.

“So my view is that I’m not saying President Duterte’s administration has to do this. We should just start discussing this issue,” he added.

With the Philippines’ Covid-19 cases “muted” and under control and the country’s debt still rising, the government must now consider how it can begin to lift the state of public health emergency. He urged the government to start sharing responsibility with the private sector and citizens, such as passing on the cost of vaccination to those who can afford it.

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“There are ways to see what the game plan would be. We should include the private sector in our discussions as our debt continues to grow,” Concepcion said. “We can see that the government cannot afford to buy vaccines and medicines for the whole country anymore,” he said. “The management of the pandemic should now be a responsibility between the government, the private sector and all Filipino citizens.”

He added that the alert levels were useful at the height of the pandemic. “To even think about raising alert levels beyond [Alert Level] 1 will be detrimental to the Philippine economy. … If another variant appears, you can always reset the alert levels. The variants that arrive are more transmissible but remain benign. I think we should move on,” he added.

The adviser then suggested that Covid-19 shots should be available for purchase from pharmacies to ease the burden on the government as the country slowly rolls out post-pandemic plans.

He urged vaccine makers to begin applying for a product registration certificate from the Food and Drug Administration as preparations for the lifting of the national state of emergency occur in the coming months.

With the removal of the national state of emergency, emergency use authorization for some Covid-19 vaccines will no longer be valid, Concepcion noted.

He said he would recommend that the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. purchase additional Covid-19 shots to use as booster shots if there is public demand.

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