Members of the public, detained for roaming the streets without relevant passes amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, squat at a distance from one another as they are processed outside a police station at Quezon City in Manila on April 14, 2020.
AFP/Maria Tan
DILG issues show cause orders to 3 governors, 2 mayors for violating quarantine rules
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - April 15, 2020 - 3:21pm

MANILA, Philippines — Three governors and two mayors are facing show cause orders from the Department of the Interior and Local Government for allegedly violating quarantine policies.

The local chief executives were not identified but DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said these local chief executives violated prohibition against mass gatherings, failed to strictly implement social distancing measures, prohibited movement of cargo, refused entry to overseas Filipino workers and essential personnel into their localities and prohibited operations of industries vital to food security.

The officials were given 48 hours from receipt to submit a written explanation stating why administrative cases should not be filed against them for negligence, dereliction of duty and violation of Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

The DILG also said the three governors and two mayors may face criminal charges from the National Bureau of Investigation.

The department earlier issued show cause orders to four barangay officials from Quezon City and Caloocan City for violating physical distancing measures and prohibition against mass gatherings.

“As directed by the president himself, we will not go easy on local government officials who will violate the prescribed directives during the ECQ,” Secretary Eduardo Año said.

The national government extended the enhanced community quarantine of Luzon until April 30 to further arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus that has infected over 5,200 people in the country.

LGUs, PNP ordered to close non-essential businesses

The DILG also instructed LGUs and the Philippine National Police to strictly enforce the closure of non-essential business establishment while the Luzon-wide lockdown is still being implemented.

This comes after the department received reports that some non-essential commercial establishments in some localities resumed operations.

Under DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-062, only establishments providing or manufacturing basic necessities such as food, medicine, water, banking, remittance centers, power, energy and telecommunication are allowed to operate as long as strict social distancing measures are observed.

Violators may be arrested and charged under Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code, which punishes resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or the agents of such person.

Malaya said the government task force on coronavirus response is taking into account the impact of the ECQ to the national and local economies.

“The IATF is carefully studying the next steps but one thing for sure is that we have to exercise caution and prudence regarding the partial lifting of the ECQ after April 30. We are optimistic but we must always base our recommendations to the president on scientific evidence,” he said.

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: April 29, 2020 - 7:51pm

Photo shows members of the Philippine National Police deployed in Manila amid COVID-19 threat. The STAR/Edd Gumban

President Rodrigo Duterte on March 16, 2020 declares an enhanced community quarantine over all of mainland Luzon, an expansion of an earlier general community quarantine over the National Capital Region.

The entire National Capital Region—16 cities and a municipality—is under community quarantine from March 15 to April 14, which means the enforcement of social distancing measures like letting fewer people on public transportation, reduced store hours, and the possibiity of curfews.

According to a memorandum issued by the Palace on Saturday, March 14, the quarantine means that "movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work; and uniformed personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points."

Travel restrictions in and out of the capital will also be implemented.

April 29, 2020 - 7:51pm

Batangas, one of the provinces hardest hit by the novel coronavirus, has reported no new cases of the disease for two consecutive days.

The provincial DOH Office says the number of COVID-19 cases in the province stood at 91 with no new cases as of Wednesday afternoon.

Lipa City has the most cases with 26, followed by Batangas City (21) and Nasugbu (11).

Tanauan City has the fourth most cases with eight, followed by Bauan (5) and Alitagtag (3). Cuenca and Sto. Tomas City had two cases each, while the municipalities of Calaca, Lemery, Lian, Lobo, Mabini, Mataas na Kahoy, Padre Garcia, San Jose, San Juan, San Pascual and Taal had one case each, respectively. — The Filipino Connection

April 29, 2020 - 5:39pm

Quezon City's Task Force Disiplina has been instructed to withdraw its complaint against Michael Rubuia whom city "enforcers" were caught on video beating with sticks over alleged quarantine violations.

The QC government says in the same statement that the enforcers of Task Force Disiplina have been issued show-cause orders for their actions. They may also be put on preventive suspension.

It also says Ruguia will be released to the city's drug rehabilitation center "in view of his positive drug test."

A police report on the April 27 incident did not mention the beating by task force personnel nor that he Ruguia had tested positive for drugs.

More on that incident here: QC to investigate 'local authorities' caught on video beating man lacking face mask

April 28, 2020 - 10:26pm

A 72-year-old Person Deprived of Liberty at the Correctional Institution for Women-Mandaluyong who had tested positive for COVID-19 died on Monday, the Bureau of Corrections says Tuesday.

She was the first confirmed COVID-19 case at the correctional facility and had been hospitalized on April 13 "after experiencing pneumonia symptoms," BuCor says.

"It can be recalled that her admission to the hospital triggered the contact tracing and isolation of those PDL that had contact with her days before she was brought to the hospital," BuCor also says.

Of 130 PDLs tested, 47 have been confirmed to have COVID-19.

A CIW PDL who had been admitted to East Avenue Medical Center on April 13 and who died on April 21 has also been confirmed to have had COVID-19. The results of the test, done on April 14, were only released on Monday.

April 27, 2020 - 2:59pm

Two new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in Lipa City on Monday even as the total recoveries jumped to five out of the 26 confirmed cases so far, the Lipa City government said.

Mayor Eric Africa announced that two male patients, ages 78 and 27 years old, tested positive for the virus, raising the city’s total infections to 26 – the most in Batangas province. The Filipino Connection

April 26, 2020 - 3:10pm

Community farms could be a "short cut" to meeting the country's food needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Caritas Philippines says, citing community farming projects that the Catholic Church in the Philippines is helping.

"The social amelioration program is not efficiently solving our food security problem however we see it as a necessary short-cut solution," Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, national director of Caritas Philippines says

"Thus we at NASSA/Caritas Philippines strongly urge our government, especially the Department of Agriculture to start mobilizing farmers at the community level while we still have time."

The Department of Agriculture has said urban and community farming is among its strategies toward food security during the pandemic.

Bagaforo says "our community farms are helping deliver fresh vegetables to families severely affected by work suspension in Iligan, Bayombong and Camarines Sur, while a local farmers' cooperative supported by the diocese of Libmanan in Camarines Norte and the Gratia Plena program of the Diocese of San Jose in Nueva Ecija are supplying thousands of sacks of commercial and organic rice to Luzon provinces."

Backyard gardening programs in Iloilo, Bukidnon, Quezon, Leyte, the Samar provinces, Capiz, Oriental Mindoro and Zambales have also helped ensure food security for farming families, he says.

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