DILG supports extended quarantine; reminds LGUs to follow IATF protocols
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today expresses its full support to the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until April 30, 2020 saying that “it is an inevitable course of action in the effort of the national government to contain COVID-19”.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año says that President Duterte’s decision to extend the ECQ is grounded on the advice of health experts from the Department of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). He says that to rush the easing of the ECQ in a time when the coronavirus cases are fluctuating is a gamble that the government is not willing to take.
“We all want everything to go back to normal yet we cannot risk further transmissions or a relapse. This extension is part of the effort of the national government to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmissions in the country kaya buo ang pagsuporta ng DILG sa hakbang na ito ng ating Pangulo,” Año says.
He saya that models from both the government and the private sector show that an extension of 2 weeks would ‘flatten the curve’ and ensure that the Coronavirus pandemic is contained and manageable by our health care system.
With the extension of the ECQ, Año assures that the national government and the DILG are working long hours to ensure that all mechanisms are in place and that protocols are being implemented and followed to prevent the further spread the coronavirus.
As we move to the last few weeks of the quarantine, Año says that the cooperation of the local government units (LGUs) in carrying out the directives of the national government will play a crucial part. He says that the DILG expects the adherence of the LGUs while encouraging them to be creative in addressing specific concerns of their constituents.
“The DILG will maintain an open communication line with the LGUs to ensure that we are all on the same page in fighting this virus. We will coordinate with the local government officials to guarantee adherence to IATF protocols,” he says.
Año reminds LGUs to continue the strict implementation of existing measures such as the practice of physical distancing, wearing of face masks in public places like markets, banks and other facilities that remain open during the ECQ, and ensuring that people stay at home, among others, as these will be vital in the fight against coronavirus.
In dealing with the extended quarantine, Año also prods LGUs to make certain that assistance to the poor families are properly distributed and that food, medical and other supplies are not derailed or hampered in the next weeks leading to April 30. “Matagal-tagal pa po tayong mananatili sa ating mga tahanan kaya mahalaga na ang mga tulong sa mahihirap at supply ay naipaparating sa mga tao.”
The DILG Chief also says that local governments should ensure that community quarantine facilities such as public schools, stadiums and other public facilities are secured and effectively sanitized during and after use.
He adds that the Philippine National Police (PNP), despite the increasing number of police officers who are positive for COVID-19 and are PUMs and PUIs, is prepared to continue carrying out their duties.
“The PNP is correct in saying that with the extension of the quarantine, stricter security measures will be carried out as we are in the most important stretch of our efforts to contain this virus. Handa po ang ating kapulisan para dito,” he says.