LPP: Gov’t should allow LGUs to declare quarantine system in their respective areas

Marje Pelayo   •   September 17, 2021   •   140

MANILA, Philippines – The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) wants the national government to allow them to decide which quarantine restriction should be implemented in their respective localities.

According to LPP president Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr., the local government units (LGUs) know best how to address COVID-19-related problems in their localities.

Velasco said implementing the new quarantine classification in the provinces is not a problem, provided that the LGUs are the ones to decide and alert levels would only be given as their guide.

“Basically ganun ang position namin. Okay namang mag-implement at tingin nga namin it’s about time na mag implement ng pagbabago. Ang talagang sinususog namin dyan yung bottoms up. Kailangan nanggagaling sa LGU yung pagdedeklara kung anong quarantine system at saka anong health protocol,” Velasco said.

He asked the national government to give them the freedom to adjust which quarantine level they believe would be appropriate for their areas.

If ever the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has recommendations, the IATF should consult with the league of provinces for them to adjust.

Velasco said that local governments are still strict in accepting tourists because the risk of COVID-19 transmission is still high.

“Kasi kung i-a-analize namin kung magkano ang kikitain namin sa pagpasok ng tourist at grabe naman iyong hawahan at maraming maaapektuhan sa amin at maaaring masasa-kabilang buhay pa nga. Maghihigpit muna kami kasi nakikita namin mataas pa rin ang infection rate,” he said.

LPP is also asking the government to allot more vaccines along with additional storages.

“Tingin ko ang government kung may pondo pa, they should provide ultra low freezers para pati naman ang malalayong LGUs at ang mga lower ranked LGUs ay mabigyan naman ng magagandang bakuna,” Velasco said. –MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Sec. Año supports a more relaxed quarantine restriction in Metro Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Secretary Eduardo Año said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is still studying whether or not to implement a more relaxed restriction in the National Capital Region (NCR) without discriminating against those who are not yet vaccinated.

Año, however, indicated that he is more inclined to favor downgrading the restriction in the capital saying it is about time.

“In Metro Manila, I will give my all honest opinion with the high percentage of vaccination, it’s about time to really give some additional privilege to the vaccinated. It will also encourage other people to be vaccinated,” he said.

Among those who support the relaxation of quarantine restrictions is Go Negosyo founder and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.

He said that a more relaxed restriction should now be imposed in areas where the majority of the population is already vaccinated such as in the NCR.

“I think we should move forward and really test it because how do you live with COVID if even the vaccinated will not be allowed movement,” Concepcion said.

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) said it agrees with Concepcion and even released a resolution to urge the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to approve such proposal although the mayors support the strict implementation of the health and safety protocol to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

“It means that we are one with the call of Mr. Concepcion or even of the businessmen to urge IATF to consider the easing of the guidelines; however, it is subject to the study of interdisciplinary,” said MMC and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority concurrent chairman Benhur Abalos.

At present, over 50% of the NCR’s population are fully vaccinated, 80% if to include those who received their first dose.

The IATF is now finalizing the guidelines for the new quarantine classifications using the new alert level system. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Apayao under GCQ, Ifugao shifts to MGCQ after IATF approves appeals

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has finalized the community quarantine classifications for the month of July after deciding on the appeals of some local government units.

In a statement on Wednesday, IATF and Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the task force has approved Apayao Province’s appeal to be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) from July 1 to 15 from the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) classification.

The IATF also granted the appeal of Ifugao to be de-escalated to modified GCQ from its initial GCQ classification.

The National Capital Region, Rizal and Bulacan will be under GCQ with some restrictions, from July 1 to 15.

Laguna and Cavite will be under GCQ with heightened restrictions in the same period.

The following areas will be under GCQ from July 1 to 31:

  • Baguio City
  • City of Santiago
  • Isabela
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Quirino
  • Batangas
  • Quezon
  • Guimaras
  • Aklan
  • Bacolod City
  • Negros Occidental
  • Antique
  • Capiz
  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • Zamboanga City
  • Iligan City
  • General Santos City
  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Sarangani
  • Cotabato
  • South Cotabato
  • Agusan del Norte
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Cotabato City

 

The following areas will be under MECQ until July 15:

  • Cagayan
  • Bataan
  • Lucena City
  • Puerto Princesa
  • Naga City
  • Iloilo City
  • Iloilo
  • Negros Oriental
  • Zamboanga del Sur
  • Zamboanga del Norte
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Davao City
  • Davao Oriental
  • Davao Occidental
  • Davao de Oro
  • Davao del Sur
  • Davao del Norte
  • Butuan City
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Surigao del Sur

All other areas in the country will be placed under MGCQ for the month of July, the IATF said.

DOTr to review increase of passenger capacity amid easing of quarantine restrictions

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is looking into increasing passenger capacity in public transportation as quarantine restrictions ease in several areas in the Philippines.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said during a virtual presser on Wednesday (June 16) that public transportation is currently at 50% capacity.

“Paunti-unti dadagdan naitn iyan at hihingi tayo ng approval sa mga kinauukulan, higit sa lahat sa IATF at sa mga LGU,” he said.

(We will gradually increase [the capacity] and we will request approval from respective authorities, especially from the IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force] and LGUs [local government units].)

Meanwhile, the department said they will continue to increase the number of buses available to accommodate more passengers with limited capacity and to lessen congestion.

Tugade also said he has instructed his team to review if increasing the passenger capacity by 5% to 10% is possible.

“Naumpisahan na iyan. Mayroon na kaming tinatawag na pag-aaral at mag-approach kami sa IATF na kung puwede dagdagan, let’s say 5%, 10% and we make it gradual. Hindi natin pwedeng biglain iyan,” he said.

(We have started it. We are already conducting studies and we will approach the IATF if we can increase the capacity by 5% or 10% and we make it gradual. We cannot rush this.) AAC

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