DILG urges Metro Manila LGUs to adopt uniform curfew hours

Robie de Guzman   •   March 10, 2021   •   599

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday called on local government units in Metro Manila to adopt uniform curfew hours.

In a statement, DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that implementing uniform curfew hours across 16 cities and a municipality in Metro Manila would make it easier for the public to comply as people tend to live and work in different localities.

“Mahirap po sa ating mga kababayan kung paiba-iba ang curfew hours dahil malilito po sila sa pagsunod nito. It would also be easier for the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to implement the curfew if the hours are uniform across Metro Manila,” Malaya said.

DILG officer-in-charge Bernardo Florece Jr. earlier directed all LGUs and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to implement a crackdown on quarantine violators, impose a curfew, and intensify the enforcement of minimum public health standards in all barangays as new COVID-19 cases have reached more than 3,000 cases a day for three days now.

Malaya said that, at present, different LGUs in Metro Manila have imposed different curfew hours: 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. in Muntinlupa and Caloocan; 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Malabon, Navotas, Quezon City, and Marikina; and 12 midnight to 3 a.m. in Pateros and San Juan; 12 midnight to 4 a.m. in Valenzuela, Pasay, Parañaque, Taguig, Las Piñas, Makati City, Mandaluyong City; and 12 midnight to 5 a.m. in Manila and Pasig.

He said that the DILG will leave it to the mayors on what hours to impose but suggested that the curfew should start at 10:00 p.m.

“Violators should be fined or otherwise penalized for violating all health protocols especially the curfew,” he added.

Malaya likewise stressed that the policy on wearing of face masks and face shields and physical distancing should be strictly imposed in all LGUs and that violators should be fined based on the prevailing ordinances.

Temperature checks and filling out contact tracing forms manually or thru the StaySafe.PH app should remain a must in all establishments and workplaces.

The DILG also ordered the deployment of additional contact tracers in areas with rising cases to aid the local contact tracing teams in identifying close contacts and having them tested.

The department said that the LGUs can reverse the rising trend of coronavirus cases by ensuring no lag time from symptom onset, testing, contact tracing, and isolation and by strictly implementing the 10-day isolation and 14-day quarantine for those positive and with symptoms.

“LGUs should also see to it that there is good ventilation in workspaces and other settings to prevent the transmission of the virus,” he said.

LGUs can implement localized lockdown within a sitio, street, or block without the need to request approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, he added.

DILG warns poll bets vs paying ‘permit to campaign’ fees to communist rebels

Robie de Guzman   •   October 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday warned all candidates in the 2022 national and local elections against paying the so-called permit to campaign fees to the communist rebels.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año reminded candidates of the Memorandum Circular 2019-26, which calls this modus operandi as a “clear form of extortion and defilement of the sanctity of the right to suffrage.”

“Huwag po tayong magpaloko at matakot. Ang ibabayad n’yong extortion money sa mga komunista ay gagamitin din nila para makapaghasik ng terorismo sa bansa,” he adds.

In the said directive, Año enjoined local government units (LGUs) and the Philippine National Police to ensure that all candidates are allowed unhampered entrance in every LGU and guarantee peace and order in all areas especially those considered as hotspots for insurgency.

“All local officials should steer clear of directly or indirectly giving financial, material and political support to the CPP-NPA since this is a clear violation of law. This is something that the DILG under my leadership will never tolerate,” he said.

LGUs are also directed to ensure that all citizens desiring to exercise their right to suffrage are allowed and encouraged, and their rights are protected when participating in political assemblies and meetings and in the dissemination and receipt of information of any and all election-related matters.

“We must secure all candidates and political parties and ensure that they are given access to the electorate during the campaign period without intimidation and manipulation from communist terrorist groups,” he said.

The DILG said it will file disqualification cases against candidates who will be proven to have supported and cooperated with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.

“Supporting communist terrorist groups through financing or other means is an election offense and is sufficient to cause the disqualification of a candidate,” DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in the same statement.

“We will follow through on our words, those politicians who will be proven as accomplices of the CPP-NPA will face disqualification cases from the DILG,” he said.

The DILG also cited Section 4 of Republic Act (RA) 10168 known as ‘The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012’, which states that any person who finances terrorist groups to carry out or facilitate the commission of any terrorist act, by a terrorist organization, association or group, or by an individual terrorist, shall be guilty of the crime of financing terrorism.

Malaya said that under RA 10168, the crime of financing terrorism is punishable by the penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000) to not more than One million pesos (P1,000,000).

Such is also punishable under Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines which can render the accused “permanent disqualification to hold public office” with imprisonment of one to six years, he added.

 

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.

Metro Manila to have shorter curfew hours starting Sept. 16 – MMDA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Unified curfew hours being implemented in Metro Manila will be shortened when the pilot implementation granular lockdowns and quarantine alert levels system starts on Thursday, Sept. 16, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Tuesday.

In a Palace briefing, MMDA chairperson Benjur Abalos said curfew hours in Metro Manila will be adjusted to 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. starting Thursday.

Current curfew hours in Metro Manila under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) classification are from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.

“Ito ho’y inuusad na. Nagbotohan kami (Metro Manila mayors), ilalabas namin ang resolution na ang implementasyon isasabay sa pilot, magiging 10 ng gabi hanggang 4 ng umaga,” Abalos said.

Earlier in the day, the national government announced Metro Manila’s shift to a new quarantine system but stressed that this is just a pilot test.

Based on the system’s guidelines issued on Monday night, cities of municipalities will be classified under Alert level 1 to 5, depending on the COVID-19 infection rate. The alert levels per area will be determined by the Department of Health.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said mayors in Metro Manila agreed to place the region under Alert Level 4 as a whole. This level covers areas with high COVID-19 case counts or high utilization rate of total ward and ICU beds.

Under Alert Level 4, the following are prohibited from going outside their residence:

  • Persons below 18 years old
  • Persons over 65 years old
  • Those with immunodeficiencies, co-morbidities, or other health risks
  • Pregnant women

Residents will only be allowed to leave their homes when accessing essential goods and services, or going to work in permitted industries and offices.

The guidelines also stated that intrazonal and interzonal travel for persons not otherwise required to remain at their residences may be allowed subject to the reasonable regulations of the LGU of destination.

Individual outdoor exercises shall be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status but shall be limited within the general area of their residence provided, that the minimum public health standards and precautions such as the wearing of facemasks, and the maintenance of social distancing protocols are observed.

Outdoor or al fresco dine-in services in restaurants and eateries shall be allowed at a maximum of 30% venue/seating capacity regardless of vaccination status. Indoor dine-in services may be allowed at a limited 10%.

Indoor dine-in services may be allowed at a limited 10% venue/seating capacity but will cater only to individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor or al fresco capacity.

The guidelines also said that in-person religious gatherings shall be allowed at a maximum of 30% venue/seating capacity if conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status. These gatherings may be allowed at a limited 10% venue/seating capacity but may accommodate only individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor capacities.

Provided, that pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, or other religious ministers and the assistants of these religious congregations have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 shall be allowed, provided that the same shall be limited to immediate family members, upon satisfactory proof of their relationship with the deceased and with full compliance with the prescribed minimum public health standards.

 

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