There were all sorts of restrictions (ECQ, GCQ, MGCQ, etc.) and there will be more variants to come. All of those originated from the government, specifically from the IATF (Inter Agency Task Force). Exasperated with the apparent uselessness of the classifications, the citizenry has contributed another one—EWAN Q.
In Baguio City, there are new rules every time. From the age limits on people who could go out to the number of taxis allowed on the streets. So taxis are as confused as everybody else. For instance, taxis whose plate numbers end in 8 or 9 or 0 are allowed in Baguio City on Fridays but when they cross over to La Trinidad, Benguet, they are accosted and fined for violating the town’s number-coding scheme. Implementing of such incongruous schemes are a big violation of common sense.
As to the age limits of APORS (Authorized Persons Outside of Residents) which used to be those aged 15 to 65, and then out of nowhere it was changed to 18 to 65. Was there really a scientific basis for that?
Yet the people have been complying with these confused rules for more than a year. Now, they are getting tired. Not just because of the confusion, but also to the economic hardships they had to go through every time an EWAN Q is implemented, which always meant new travel restrictions. And there is no food aid from the government.
While new restrictions are being issued every time, the old ones are not being properly implemented. Take social distancing. Go to any passenger jeepney station in Baguio especially on late afternoons and you will see jampacked jeepneys which, no doubt, become super spreaders. You also see everywhere policemen whose face shields are turned up and look like headbands.
Now the people in government, after getting people to endure hunger for weeks on end, had accepted that lockdowns are not effective in controlling the spread of Covid-19. So what will they next come up with? New acronyms? That is the easiest to do. Racking one’s brains to come up with practical solutions to keep people safe is a lot more difficult. Hence, the government’s inclination is not towards that direction.
So what do we expect now? Another of government’s EWAN Q while we endure hunger and hardships, not to mention depression or even suicides?
If there is a silver lining to all of these, it is the audible anger of the people. They are now expressing it such that a lot of political careers will be massacred come election time in all levels, from the local levels all the way to the highest rungs of the national government.**