Establishments violating public health protocols may face closure, safety seal revocation – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2021   •   392

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has warned of  sanctions against establishments that are not complying with minimum public health standards and other guidelines set under the COVID-19 Alert Levels System.

In a statement, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said establishments violating COVID-19 safety rules and regulations may face suspension of their business permits or revocation of their safety seals.

Malaya said the DILG has been receiving complaints related to violation of operational capacity limits and failure to implement the requirement of allowing fully vaccinated individuals only in indoor establishments such as restaurants, amusement parks, recreational venues, fitness studios and gyms, etc.

“Many restaurants and indoor establishments are not checking the vaccination status of their customers and are violating the 50% operational capacity for indoor establishments and 70% operational capacity of outdoor establishments,” he said.

He said that these establishments are “strongly warned” that government will revoke the Safety Seals issued to them which will deprive them of the additional 10% operational capacity as well as lose the badge of honor that they are compliant with all public health standards against COVID-19.

For repeat violators or those without Safety Seals, the DILG said it will recommend the revocation of their business permits issued by the Local Government Unit (LGU) concerned.

The department has asked all LGUs and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct more inspections of establishments to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.

LGUs were also told to issue show cause orders against violators.

“We cannot be complacent at this time. Even if cases are going down and vaccination is going up, we cannot put our guard down. Look at Europe, their vaccination rate is high but they are now undergoing a new surge. Vigilance will prevent another surge,” said Malaya.

According to Malaya, the DILG has directed all LGUs to create Inspection and Certification Teams (ICT) to lead in the granting of the Safety Seal to establishments compliant with the MPHS. Uniformed personnel of the PNP and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) may also be deputized by LGUs to conduct Safety Seal inspections if they lack the personnel to do so.

The DILG likewise urged the public report violations to the concerned issuing authority of the Safety Seal – the DTI, DILG, DOLE, DOT or LGUs – for investigation and imposition of appropriate sanctions.

Violations by business establishments with safety seals issued by the DILG or LGUs may be reported to the DILG Public Assistance Hotline 892-50343; 892-51144; 09274226300; 09313849272.

DILG warns public, says no such thing as ‘COVID vaccination exemption cards’

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

Image from DILG

The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Tuesday said that there is no such thing as “COVID-19 vaccination exemption cards.”

“The public is warned that there is no such thing as a ‘vaccination exemption card.’ This is not authorized, issued, nor recognized by the government. In other words, these are fake,” DILG Spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya said they have received reports that this card supposedly originated from Facebook groups and group chats in Davao Region and Soccsksargen that can allegedly be registered to local government units (LGUs).

The cards are also supposedly recognized by local authorities in lieu of COVID-19 vaccination cards.

According to reports, people are being asked to put their name, birthdate, address, and signatures on the green vaccination exemption card being shared in FB groups and group chats, have the cards printed, laminated, and registered to their barangay/city/municipal LGUs.

“The so-called exemption cards look similar to the green COVID-19 Vaccination Cards being issued by several LGUs,” Malaya said.

“Sa biglang tingin aakalain itong tunay dahil pareho ng kulay, format at hitsura,” he added.

Malaya said the government will never issue nor recognize such cards because this runs counter to the government’s national vaccination program to inoculate the majority of the populace to achieve population protection.

He also called on local authorities to be more vigilant in their inspection of vaccination cards at provincial and regional borders amid restrictions being implemented for unvaccinated people.

DILG tells PNP to provide security for media members during 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to provide security for members of the media who may face threats or intimidation during the course of the 2022 elections.

In a statement, the DILG said the PNP should designate media security focal persons in each province and city nationwide to provide a mantle of protection for media workers.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Secretary Eduardo Año has issued a memorandum to PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos regarding the matter.

This was in response to the request of Presidential Task Force of Media Security (PTFoMS) Executive Director Joel Sy Egco in anticipation of a possible increase in violent incidents involving media personnel during the election season.

“We are one with the PTFoMS in providing security and other protective measures for media workers. They deserve to be shielded from every form of harm that they might be exposed to in the line of duty particularly during elections,” Año said.

“The 4th Estate is an integral part of our democracy and government’s partner for a more peaceful, honest and orderly polls,” he added.

Based on the memorandum, the PNP is directed to designate a focal person for media security, who will be the first to receive information and respond to any threats leveled against a media worker.

The focal person shall also directly coordinate with assigned Special Agents of the PTFoMS and assist the Task Force in expediting the resolution of cases of violence against journalists.

Malaya said the DILG shares the concern of the PTFoMS on the welfare of media workers who face the threat of violence, especially during the election season.

He recalled the gruesome Maguindanao massacre in November 2009 that claimed the lives of 58 people, including 32 members of the media who were covering the filing of candidacy of a local politician.

“The infamous massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao in November 2009 is a constant reminder that media workers are mostly vulnerable a few months before, during and a few months after every elections,” Malaya said.

Mga barangay, pinagsusumite ng listahan ng mga residenteng bakunado at ‘di bakunado vs COVID-19 – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Inatasan ng Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ang mga barangay na magsumite ng listahan ng mga residente na bakunado na at hindi pa bakunado laban sa COVID-19.

Sa isang panayam, sinabi ni DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya na ang kautusan ay inilabas ni Secretary Eduardo Año sa layuning magkaroon ng imbentaryo ng mga barangay ng mga nabakunahan na at hindi pa bakunado sa gitna na rin ng tumataas na namang coronavirus infections.

Ito aniya ay kaugnay na rin ng direktiba ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na higpitan ang paglabas ng mga hindi pa bakunado para maprotektahan sila laban sa coronavirus disease.

“Para po masigurado natin ang datos natin ng mga unvaccinated, nagpalabas po si Sec. Año ng memorandum circular para po magsagawa ng imbentaryo ang lahat ng mga barangay sa buong bansa para malaman ‘yung mga ‘di pa nagpapabakuna sa mga barangay in line of the pronouncement of the president,” ani Malaya.

Oras aniya na maihanda ang imbentaryo ay maaari nang simulan ang pagpapatupad ng restrictions sa galaw ng mga hindi pa bakunado, alinsunod sa ordinansa ng mga lokal na pamahalaan.

Sa Metro Manila, tatlong lungsod na lang ang hindi pa nakapagpapasa ng ordinansa na nagtatakda ng restrictions sa mga unvaccinated partikular na ang Pasig, Navotas at Makati.

“I would expect in the next few days ay lahat, all 17 LGUs in Metro Manila will have their own ordinance enforcing the president’s directive,” ani Malaya.

Inaasahan rin ng DILG na magpapasa ng kaparehong ordinansa ang mga lalawigan dahil naglabas na ng resolusyon ang League of the Provinces of the Philippines na humihikayat sa mga miyembro na gawin ito.

Obligado aniya ang mga barangay na masumite ng inventory ng mga ‘di pa bakunado kada buwan. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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