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Local execs face raps for mass gatherings
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said local chief executives or LCEs may face sanctions for dereliction of duty if they fail to strictly impose quarantine guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
STAR/File

Local execs face raps for mass gatherings

Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - May 10, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has warned local chief executives that they will be held liable for violations of minimum health protocols such as mass gatherings in their jurisdictions.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said local chief executives or LCEs may face sanctions for dereliction of duty if they fail to strictly impose quarantine guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

“An administrative complaint or a criminal case may be filed against delinquent LCEs. The DILG does not want to reach that point so, hopefully, LGUs (local government units) can properly uphold the policies on mass gatherings according to the quarantine classification in their areas,” Año said in a mix of Filipino and English in a statement.

The DILG said any violation of IATF guidelines may lead to charges based on Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code, or administrative sanctions under the local government code.

Año said LGUs should exercise their power of supervision over component units to impose sanctions against erring officials.

“Local government units have a critical role in enforcing mass gathering regulations as they are nearer to their constituencies compared to the national government. What LCEs can do is to adopt and implement guidelines and policies of the Inter-Agency Task Force as well as enact necessary local policies to support these regulations,” the DILG chief added.

The DILG has already directed the Philippine National Police to strictly enforce minimum health standards, especially on the prohibition on mass gatherings, to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

The department is also urging members of the public to immediately file complaints against their erring local chief executives directly to the DILG and its regional offices.

The DILG gave assurance that their regional offices will take appropriate actions against LCEs who fail to implement protocols in their areas.

Citing the IATF omnibus guidelines as of April 15, gatherings at and outside residences are prohibited in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).

Gatherings are allowed for up to 50 percent of the seating or venue capacity for areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Provision of government services and authorized humanitarian activities are allowed in all areas under any quarantine classification.

Religious gatherings are prohibited under ECQ, but are allowed up to 10 percent of seating capacity under MECQ, which may be increased to 30 percent subject to LGU regulations.

Under GCQ and MGCQ, religious gatherings are allowed up to 50 percent of seating capacity. Mass gatherings, such as movie screenings, concerts, sporting events and other entertainment and work activities are prohibited in areas under ECQ, MECQ and GCQ.

These are allowed up to 50 percent in seating capacity under MGCQ areas if in compliance with the standards of the Department of Labor and Employment.

DILG IATF MASS GATHERING
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