DOH: Measures put in place to ensure safety of communities near New Clark City
Visitors (C) take photos next to the cauldron in front of the athletics stadium in New Clark City, in Capas town, Tarlac province north of Manila on December 2, 2019, during the SEA Games.
AFP/Wakil Kohsar

DOH: Measures put in place to ensure safety of communities near New Clark City

Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - February 7, 2020 - 3:09pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health assured Friday the residents of Capas in Tarlac province that the quarantine zone in New Clark City would not pose any risk to communities.

“Everybody, not only the DOH, but all the other agencies are going to make the necessary arrangements to make sure that there’s no risk to the community,” Undersecretary Eric Domingo said.

The local government of Capas earlier appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to consider other facilities as quarantine zone for Filipinos returning from Hubei province in China—the epicenter of the deadly novel coronavirus.

It also said local officials were not consulted that the Athlete’s Village in NCC will be used as a quarantine facility.

“[Health Secretary Francisco Duque III] is contacting the mayor and to explain to them that of course, all the agencies of government are going to do everything possible to make sure that all OFWs who are coming in will not come in contact with the community,” Domingo said.

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority, which has jurisdiction over NCC, also said that preventive and precautionary measures are being put in place to ensure that the “adjacent communities of New Clark City and all Capaseños are kept safe and protected.”

‘Bayanihan’ in time of nCoV

The Health chief lamented the opposition of some communities to the state’s plan, saying this showed that Filipinos have lost their sense of “bayanihan.”

“Nakalulungkot ‘yung lahat ng pinuntahan ko puro kontra ‘yung komunidad. Sabi ko, ‘Sino mangangalaga sa kapwa natin Filipino kundi Filipino rin?’” Duque said.

(It is saddening that all the communities I’ve reached out to are opposed to the idea. I said, “Who will take care of our fellow Filipinos but Filipinos themselves?”)

He added: “Sayang ‘yung spirit ng bayanihan. Kilala tayo dyan. Papayag ba tayo na mawala ito? Magpakita tayo ng patriotism naman.”

(We are known for the spirit of bayanihan. Should we let that disappear? We should show patriotism.)

At least 45 Filipinos in Hubei—epicenter of the virus—have requested to be repatriated.

The government initially planned to use the massive drug rehabilitation center in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija to quarantine returning Filipinos.

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