MANILA — Mayors and governors have the authority to impose measures that would contain the increase of infections in their respective areas says Cabinet Secretary and anti-COVID task force co-chair Karlo Nograles.
The surge in Covid-19 cases has caused alarm to most Filipinos. that the Government is tightening anew observance of public health protocols to mitigate a comeback of increased COVID-19 infections. Variants already detected in the country UK, South African, and Brazilian, known to be more contagious have also jumped up.
Some sectors attribute the spike to the easing up of community quarantines to re-energize economic activity. Nograles ascribes to the local government units (LGUs) the discretion to call for lockdowns in areas deemed crucial.
“The local government units are there, they are on the ground and they can provide a quick assessment and action. It is within their power to make adjustments, policies, or decisions,” he says.
Situations in areas of concern like Pasay City will be considered when the Government decides on the quarantine classifications for April. The Government will form recommendations for April based on monitoring results in March.
Nograles reminds the public that while the new COVID-19 variants are more contagious, the manner of transmission is the same. Everyone should continue to wash their hands frequently, wear face masks and observe physical distancing.
Meanwhile, Department of Local and Interior Government undersecretary Bernardo Florece charges local executives to implement and enhance their respective ordinances with corresponding penalties for health protocol violations.
He said the DILG is set to release a new memorandum circular that standardizes ordinances for cities and municipalities for health protocol violations in a bid to curb the rising trend in new COVID-19 cases.
Also, the DILG would issue an advisory on more lenient protocols for local travel so as to clarify the new guideline given by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). (JSM/JuanManila)
Featured image: A stream of busy people on Ilaya Street in the Divisoria district of Manila. | Photo by Mike Alquinto / Manila Times