Año says LGUs outside may do own method of quarantine
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año reminded the public that the enhanced community quarantine is only implemented in Luzon after the government received criticism from some netizens for allowing public mass transportation in Davao City.
“It is only Luzon that is placed under total lockdown as declared by the President (Rodrigo Duterte) and has to follow strictly the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) national guidelines,'' Año said in a viber message with The Daily Manila Shimbun Tuesday night.
''LGUs (Local Government Units) in Visayas and Mindanao have the options to declare GCQ (General Community Quarantine) or ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) or with some modification,” he added.
Año said LGUs outside Luzon may do their own quarantine as long as they do not disrupt the food chain; and hamper the movement of cargoes, health workers and other exempted workers and farmers or fishermen, returning OFWs and leaving foreign nationals.
“Absolute prohibition of all public and mass transport applies only in Luzon,” he added.
Davao City is Duterte’s hometown and his daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio is the mayor.
Netizens are criticizing the DILG and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for not taking action on Duterte-Carpio’s action allowing operation of tricycles amid the implementation of community quarantine in the city.
The mayor said the DILG’s Memorandum Circular 2020-062 issued on March 21 was her basis in allowing tricycles and taxis during the community quarantine.
“If the City Government of Davao will not allow taxis and tricycles to move the general public for their basic necessities, we will be caught in an absurd situation where people who own vehicles can easily move around and the general public would resort to walking more than 20 kilometers just to buy food and other basic necessities,” she said.
It can be recalled that the government scolded Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto for allowing tricycle operations in their area on the early days of quarantine.
Sotto said he complied with the national government’s guidelines and find a “creative way” to find a solution on the transportation problem in the city by buying e-tricycles and bicycles for patients, health workers and other COVID-19 frontliners in the city.
The NBI also invited Sotto to explain at their office as tricycle operations in the city are allegedly still on-going despite the implementation of ECQ.
Duterte-Carpio said she is willing to face an investigation on her decision. Ella Dionisio/DMS