Duterte reiterates order to LGUs to fix traffic in Metro Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2019   •   1210

President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his order to Metro Manila local government units (LGU) to fix the traffic in their area.

During his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA), Duterte also said to reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends.

“I reiterate my directive, my request, my pleadings to the MMDA and all concerned local officials in Metro Manila, and all other cities, to undertake immediate action to ensure the speedy and smooth flow of vehicular traffic.” he said in his speech on Monday (July 22).

The president also mentioned, billions are lost due to traffic in Metro Manila. He also warned government officials in Metro Manila that they will face suspension if they do not follow his directive.

“I asked Secretary Año to see to it that this is enforced. If there is a mayor or a governor, suspend him sir Año,” he said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government will make an inventory of all public roads in Metro Manila.

READ: DILG to meet with local execs on clearing of public roads

Meanwhile, several LGUs like the Manila and Quezon City government already began conducting road clearing operations even before Duterte’s speech.—AAC (with reports from Mon Jocson)

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Zambo City soars to 59

Maris Federez   •   May 3, 2020

Zamboanga City, Philippines — The city’s task force on COVID-19 has recorded 29 new positive cases of the novel coronavirus disease, based on the results of the latest batch of tests conducted by St. Luke’s Medical Center.

In an advisory released on Saturday (May 2), the Zamboanga City government said that the latest result led to a total of 59 confirmed COVID-19 cases.  

The task force said that the confirmed cases are part of the batch of specimen which was sent to St. Luke’s on April 27 and 30 based on an agreement entered into by the Zamboanga City Government and St. Luke’s Medical Center through Brent Hospital that led to faster turnaround of results.

“Two of the 29 confirmed cases are BJMP personnel, while the rest are persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the City Reformatory Center,” the advisory said.

It added that the city’s LGU, “in collaboration with BJMP, is exerting best efforts to include providing resources and logistics to address the outbreak inside the city jail.”

“Actions have also been taken to facilitate the transfer of the women dormitory to avoid contamination of older PDLs and those with underlying medical conditions,” the statement concluded. —/mbmf

LGUs may decide on ECQ only upon approval of IATF — Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   May 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Local government units (LGUs) cannot deviate from the national government’s measures under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or the general community quarantine (GCQ) in their respective areas.

In an interview with Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on Friday (May 1), IATF and Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said each LGU must coordinate first with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) before they make any decision such as imposing hard lockdowns in highly urbanized areas in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in affected areas.

Wala pong mga local na pamahalaan na pwedeng magdeklara ng ECQ sa kabuoan ng kanilang mga teritoryo ng walang pagpayag ng IATF, [No local government may declare ECQ in their area of jurisdiction without the approval of the IATF],” Roque stressed.

The Palace official confirmed that hard lockdowns imposed in the City of Manila such as in Sampaloc and Tondo Districts were approved by the IATF as coordinated by Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso.

As for the resumption of public transportation services in areas under GCQ, the official said the strict implementation of health protocols and social distancing measures remain in authorized public utility vehicles.

Dahil binuksan nating bahagya na ang ekonomiya, so kinakailangang mag-operate po sila dahil di po makakapasok sa trabaho ang mga mamamayan kung walang public transporation, [We are gradually opening the economy, they have to operate as well so workers can come to work and they cannot do that without public transportation,]” Roque concluded. MNP (with inouts from Rosalie Coz)

LGUs may use 20% dev’t fund in COVID-19 fight – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   April 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said that local government units (LGU) are allowed to use its 20% development fund to undertake measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in their areas.

The DILG said it has signed Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1, series of 2020 with the Department of Budget and Management, giving leeway for the LGUs to utilize their development fund to continue to provide basic services to their constituents.

“With the signing of the JMC, we are giving LGUs more flexibility in using their development fund for disaster preparedness and response efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus and to continue to provide basic services to their constituents who are severely affected by the enhanced community quarantine,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.

Under the JMC, LGUs may use their 20% development fund for the procurement of personal protective equipment, hospital equipment, and supplies, disinfectants, sprayers, disinfection tents, and other supplies or misting equipment, and COVID-19 testing kits, reagents, and equipment.

Food, transportation, and accommodation expenses of medical personnel and other LGU personnel directly involved in the implementation of COVID-19-related initiatives as well as food assistance and relief goods for affected households may also be charged to the development fund.

Expenses for the construction or rental of additional spaces to accommodate COVID-19 PUIs and PUMs as well as for the operation of stand-alone or mobile testing laboratories may also be funded out of the development fund.

DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, however, clarified that there are also limitations in using the fund.

“Hindi ito puwedeng gamitin para bumili ng furniture, fixture[s], appliances at motor vehicles,” Malaya said.

The fund also does not cover personal services expenditures, such as salaries, wages, overtime pay and other personnel benefits.

Administrative expenses such as supplies, meetings, communication, water and electricity, petroleum products, other general services, as well as registration or participation fees in training, seminars, conferences or conventions as well as traveling expenses cannot also be charged to the development fund.

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