A less restrictive quarantine
The harsh quarantine measures that started in mid-March have taken their toll on jobs and the economy in general. Many unemployed workers are itching to get their jobs back but the limited availability of mass transportation has frustrated them from reclaiming their occupation. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III sounded the alarm Tuesday when he called for a more aggressive reopening of the economy. Sounding pragmatic about the pandemic, the finance chief correctly assessed that COVID-19 would be around for a while unless a vaccine was found. Mr. Dominguez has urged for a modified general community quarantine in Metro Manila and the Calabarzon corridor, comprising the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon to get the Philippine economy going. Metro Manila and Calabarzon are the country's center of economic activities, accounting for over 60 percent of the gross domestic product. The government can both contain the spread of COVID-19 and reopen the economy as long as health protocols are observed. The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases should focus on hotspots, or districts or villages where the infections are high, and spare the rest of the nation from harsh quarantine rules.