DILG reminds LGUs to observe health protocols as road clearing ops resume

Robie de Guzman   •   November 16, 2020   •   464

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday reminded local government units (LGU) to observe minimum health standards as they begin their 60-day road clearing operations.

After eight months of suspension due to the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the LGU road clearing operations will resume nationwide on Monday except for areas under modified enhanced community quarantine and those still flooded due to recent typhoons.

“The road clearing operations are needed to ensure orderliness as we revive local economies without being complacent against COVID-19. Our transition to the ‘new normal’ calls for the need to ensure that our roads remain safe, accessible, and free from illegal and potentially hazardous encroachments,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

“Bagaman patuloy ang serbisyo publiko at mga inisyatibo para manumbalik ang sigla ng ekonomiya, buhay at kalusugan pa rin ang pinakamahalaga. Panatilihin ang disiplina sa pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield, i-sanitize ang mga kamay at dumistansya ng isang metro sa bawat isa,” he added.

Under DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-145, the resumption of road-clearing operations will vary, in different degrees, depending on the quarantine classification of a certain area.

Areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) levels should render full implementation of road clearing operations.

Año said that full implementation includes the removal of road and sidewalk obstructions, conduct of road inventories, physical removal of road obstructions without prejudice to the property rights of the affected stakeholders, crafting and implementation of displacement plans, rehabilitation, and maintenance of cleared roads, and creation of a grievance mechanism.

Areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) will execute the partial implementation of the program, which means it is limited to the actual or physical removal or abatement of road and sidewalk obstructions that are considered hazardous to motorists and pedestrians.

These are unauthorized parked vehicles, illegal structures, nuisances, and any other structures erected along or standing on, made immovable or otherwise, that impede safe and convenient passage through public road or sidewalk. The partial implementation also includes road clearing to establish bicycle lanes.

Meanwhile, road clearing operations are suspended in areas under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) and Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

The DILG chief clarified that LGUs are not expected to conduct road clearing in villages, subdivisions, barrios, or along roads, streets, or alleys that are declared to be under localized ECQ or MECQ.

Meanwhile, DILG Spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that while the pandemic is not yet over, some structures or vehicles shall be exempt from removal or apprehension by LGUs concerning the fight against COVID-19.

“Iyong mga parked ambulances at public emergency vehicles at saka checkpoints ng LGUs, Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), pulisya o militar pati na rin ang pansamantalang istruktura para sa bicycle lanes ay exempted po sa road clearing operations,” Malaya said.

Structures erected for locally stranded individuals (LSIs) shall be removed upon their return to their intended LGU destination.

He also clarified that all road closures currently set up by barangays without enabling ordinances nor approval from concerned authorities shall be dismantled and cleared to ensure unhampered public conveyance. Barangays under ECQ or MECQ may put up such road closures subject to the approval of concerned authorities.

The deadline for all barangays to submit a report on their road clearing operations conducted in November is on December 15.

Meanwhile, the validation of provincial, city and municipal compliance with the road clearing operations shall be conducted on January 18 to 22, 2021.

Among the items to be validated by the DILG Validation Teams are the tricycle route plans in their respective areas to ensure that alternate routes are provided to tricycles who are prohibited by law from operating in national highways across the country.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in his State of the Nation Address last year, ordered the DILG and LGUs to reclaim all public roads being used for private ends.

The road clearing operations were suspended in March in line with efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

DILG says pilot run of new alert level system in NCR ‘so far, so good’

Marje Pelayo   •   September 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said the launch of the new alert level system in the National Capital Region (NCR) on Thursday (September 16) has been good so far.

“Maayos po ang ating pilot run the first day of implementation ng new alert level system. In fact, malinaw sa mga local government units ang mga pamantayan,” said DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.

The official said the LGUs deployed their respective inspectors to different establishments to verify the vaccination status of patrons dining in restaurants.

Malaya said that even though the new policy poses a huge challenge to the department, they are confident that with the help and cooperation of the agencies and the public, the purpose of the alert level system will be achieved especially against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Malaking hamon po ito sa DILG kaya kahapon po nagbigay ng kautusan si Sec. Año na lahat ng LGUs, kasama na rin ang NCRPO, na paigtingin ang enforcement ng minimum health standards ng mga establisyemento na ina-allow to operate,” he said.

“Kahit na rin po ang ating mga kababayan, ang kanilang adherence to minimum public health standards,” he added.

Under the Alert Level 4, mass gatherings like concerts, wedding receptions, birthday parties, family reunions, parades and alike, as well as gatherings in residences with one person outside of the immediate household are strictly not allowed.

“Para po masiguro ang compliance ng ating mga kababayan dito sa mga regulasyon na ito, nagbigay po ng direktiba si Sec. Año sa ating mga barangay, kapulisan, at LGUs na mag-deploy at mag-reactivate ng kanilang mga COVID marshal, barangay at disiplina brigade, at mga police marshal,” Malaya said.

Alert Level 4 is the second highest classification imposed on  areas wherein case counts are alarming with total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization at critical level.

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)

Pagpapatupad ng granular sa halip na malawakang lockdown sa mga lalawigan, pinag-aaralan na – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   August 26, 2021

MANILA – Ikino-konsidera ngayon ng Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) na huwag na magpatupad ng malawakang lockdown sa mga lalawigan o rehiyon upang mapigilan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19.

Ayon kay DILG Usec. Epimaco Densing, sa halip na malawakang lockdown ay granular na lamang gagawin na naka-sentro lamang sa mga partikular na lugar na may mataas na kaso ng COVID-19.

Ibig sabihin, ang lokal na pamahalaan na ang magpapasya kung ilang lugar sa kanilang mga nasasakupan ang isasailalim sa lockdown upang mapigilan ang pagkalat ng coronavirus.

“Hahayaan po natin ang mga lokal na gobyerno at ating mga gobernardor at mga mayor na magdeklara ng mga granular lockdowns. Dito sa granular lockdowns, makakasiguro po tayo na walang paggalaw ang mga tao,” ani Densing.

Una nang sinabi ng Department of Health (DOH) na hindi na kailangan ang malawakan at mahabang lockdown period para mas mapabilis ang detection, isolation, at contact tracing ng mga nagpositibo sa COVID-19.

Ayon kay Densing, tutulungan ng national government ang mga lokal na pamahalaan sa pagbibigay ng ayuda sa mga residenteng maaapektuhan ng granular lockdown.

“Ang usapan po nito na ang national government po ay tutulong sa ating lokal na gobyerno para punan ang kanilang pangangailangan lalo na sa pagkain itong mga lugar lugar na kanilang ilalagay sa mga lockdown,” ang wika ng opisyal.

Bukod sa implementasyon ng granular lockdown, inatasan na rin ng DILG ang mga lokal na pamahalaan na maghanda pa ng mas maraming isolation facilities.

Ito’y upang mahigpit na maipagbawal ang home quarantine, at mapigilan ang hawaan ng sakit lalo na sa mga nakatira sa iisang bahay.

Bukod sa quarantine hotels, inatasan na rin ng DILG ang mga lokal na opisyal na maghanap ng mga bakanteng motel at gusali na maaring gamitin bilang isolation facilties.

“Sa ngayon po hindi maganda yung ating statistika, dahil inaabot po ng 12 araw bago po ma-isolate ang isang kumpirmado nang COVID-19 positive ayon sa talaan ng Department of Health sa aming paguusap. Gusto po nating paiikliin ito ng anim na araw,” ani Densing. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nunez)


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