Governors can decide quarantine status – DILG

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - June 17, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Provincial governors can impose stricter quarantine measures in their areas, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

At a virtual town hall meeting organized by the Department of Health, DILG spokesman Jonathan Malaya said governors could place towns and cities in their province under enhanced community quarantine or modified ECQ in coordination with the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“Hindi na po kailangan magpaalam yan sa national government,” Malaya said.

He said provincial governments could also impose a lockdown in areas where there is a spike in COVID-19 cases.

League of Provinces of the Philippines president and Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco Jr., who attended the virtual meeting, said Malaya’s pronouncement would give them more leeway in addressing the COVID situation in their areas.

“It’s welcome news that the provincial government can approve the request of municipal governments to impose ECQ or MECQ,” Velasco said.

DILG Undersecretary for operations Epimaco Densing III reminded governors to ensure that their quarantine measures would not go against the policies of the national government.

Densing said governors still need to consult with their regional IATFs on the quarantine classification.

Negros doctors buck MGCQ status

Meanwhile, the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP)-Negros Occidental chapter expressed its dismay on the easing of quarantine restrictions in the province amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Negros Occidental and Bacolod City were placed under modified general community quarantine until June 30 while neighboring Iloilo City and Negros Oriental are under MECQ.

“We just wanted to have a timeout... for at least two weeks to halt the transmission of the virus,” PCP-Negros Occidental chapter head Ronel Sario said.

Sario said the imposition of stricter quarantine measures would decongest hospitals and other health facilities in the province.

The Bacolod city government did not request for a stricter quarantine status even though it was classified as “high-risk” for COVID-19.

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson ordered stricter border control with Negros Oriental as a precautionary measure. – Gilbert Bayoran

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