The government is committed to continue the dialogue with the medical community amid efforts to balance public health and economic revival during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles has recognized the importance of engagement with different medical groups in both public and private sectors to know their suggestions and concerns on the government’s pandemic response.

Nograles, in an online interview with the Manila Bulletin, said it was important to hear the “side of the story” of the health frontliners especially as the government moves to further open up the economy.
“While the IATF is fleshing out the details, we will continue to engage and all the more engage the different medical societies and medical organizations. Of course we understand the PMA (Philippine Medical Association) is the mother of all medical associations so we will also engage with them so maganda yung magiging (so there will be good) dialogue, coordination with our medical experts in the non government sector,” he said in an online interview with the Manila Bulletin.
“Sa ganoong paraan (In this manner) everybody is allowed or is empowered to voice, give their own opinions and mas magiging guided ang IATF kasi maririnig din namin yung kanilang side of story (and the IATF will be guided because we will hear their side of the story),” he added.
Nograles noted under the phase 3 of the national action plan against coronavirus, the government aims to strike a balance among “health, economy and jobs and livelihoods.” 
“This healthy dialogue between us and those in the medical field, our healthcare workers, our doctors would be something that would be needed. It will be a healthy exchange so we can talk about many things, and calibrate many things and we gain support of each and everyone as we move forward,” he said.
President Duterte and the Cabinet recently gave the green light to the proposed loosening of movement restrictions and further reopening of the economy to stimulate business activity and livelihood of the people.  The approved recommendations made by the economic cluster include scaling up business operations, implementing one-seat apart to increase public transportation capacity, expansion of the age group allowed to leave their houses, and shorter curfews.
“As a guiding principle ang napagdesisyunan ng Gabinete at ni Pangulo (the decision reached by the President and the Cabinet) is the basic and general principle of opening up the economy more, opening up public transportation more while maintaining ‘yung safety protocols, increasing safety protocols in public transportation,” Nograles said.
He said these planned adjustments to revitalize the economy will be made regardless if an area is under a general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
“So that way mas assured tayo na mas bibilis ‘yung economic growth natin in all areas whether area ka ng GCQ o under ka sa MGCQ. Mas magkakaroon ng economic activities that are happening within those areas (So that way, we can be assured of faster economic growth in all areas whether you’re in GCQ or MGCQ. There will be more economic activities that are happening within those areas),” he said.

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