Sara Duterte asks other LGUs to stop restricting travelers within Davao region

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2020   •   309

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte called on other local government units not to restrict the movement of people within areas in the Davao region that are under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Duterte issued the statement during an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio on Wednesday following reports that some workers traveling from Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro to Davao City are being required to present documents and undergo a 14-day quarantine before granting them passage to Davao del Norte.

“That’s what I’ve been saying, for those of you who are ranting on Facebook, Sirs and Ma’ams, you should have prepared for this during the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) because movement between GCQ areas would be allowed,” she said, apparently referring to officials of LGUs in neighboring areas.

Citing Section 7 (3) of the Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of the community quarantine in the Philippines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), Duterte said the interzonal movement of persons between areas placed under GCQ for any purpose other than leisure is permitted.

“Is employment a leisure? It’s not, so they are allowed to move. There is a confusion on your part that you need to resolve,” she said.

The mayor also said that subjecting workers passing through the province to Davao City to a two-week quarantine was “unreasonable.”

“It’s unreasonable that those who are just passing through your area to return to work (in Davao City), who are not even working in your area will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine. I don’t think it’s right preparation,” she said.

The entire Davao region, including Davao City, is under GCQ from May 16 to May 31.

The presidential daughter said that if other LGUs continue to restrict the movement of people to and from their areas then they should have instead opted for an extension of enhanced community quarantine implementation.

“Kung dili mo gusto magpasulod sa inyohang LGU, ipasaka mo to an ECQ because during an ECQ dili pwede mosulod, dili pwede mogawas. But during a GCQ, kung ang imohang silingan GCQ, ikaw GCQ, pwede mo magbiyahe for Category I, II, III na offices and establishments for work,” she said.

(If you do not allow entry, you raise your (quarantine level) to ECQ because during ECQ you don’t allow entry and exit. But during GCQ, if your neighbor is GCQ and you are GCQ, you can travel to offices and establishments categorized as I, II, III for work.)

In another statement, she, however, clarified that she is not intimidating nor dictating other local leaders about movement restrictions.

Instead, Duterte said she only requested them to refrain from asking “unnecessary” documents from people traveling to their areas.

“Ang ginaingon lang nako sa ilaha, ayaw pangayui ang tao og travel order, mangayo pa sila og seal, mangayo pa og tinuod nga pirma nako because that is not required. Ayaw ninyo pangayui ang mga tao og ing-ana. Kung ang tao moingon nga empleyado sila, di ba allowed man mo-move for work, kung ang tao moingon siya nga nagatrabaho ko diha, pangitai ninyo og ID,” the mayor stressed.

(What I told them is not to ask for a travel order, a (Davao City) seal, my original signature because that is not required. Don’t ask people for that. If the persons say they are workers are they not allowed to move for work? You can ask for an ID.)

Mayor Sara also pointed out that prohibiting the entry of people through lockdowns does not guarantee protection from the coronavirus.

She said LGUs should instead ready their local government for the possible surge of COVID-19 patients.

“Ang makaprotect po sa imoha is mag andam ka imohang prevention measures, mag-andam ka sa imohang detection especially sa inyohang surveillance, mag-andam mo sa inyohang testing,” she said.

(What will protect you is your prevention measures, prepare your detection measures especially with surveillance, and ready with testing.)

“So dapat nangita na mo og mga tao dinha sa inyohang lugar nga ginasubmit ninyo for testing because naga manifest sila og symptoms sa COVID-19. Mag andam po mo og treatment ug reintegration. Mao dapat na ang nagafunction karon nga GCQ na ang inyohang area,” she added.

(So look for the people you submitted for testing if they manifest the COVID-19 symptoms. Prepare treatment and reintegration. That is how you function under GCQ.)

IATF to study mayors’ bid to retain Metro Manila under GCQ after Sept. 30 – Año

Robie de Guzman   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Most mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR) are in favor of extending the general community quarantine (GCQ) being implemented in the region, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Friday.

Año said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) will meet on Sunday, Sept. 27 to discuss the recommendation of the Metro Manila Council on the next quarantine status in NCR by October.

“Maraming mga mayors ng NCR ang gusto pa rin mag-GCQ pero depende pa rin sa usapan sa Sunday,” he said.

Metro Manila is under GCQ until Sept. 30 as earlier recommended by the IATF and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Año said they will thoroughly discuss the Metro Manila mayors’ proposal in order to balance the factors of public health and economy which has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dalawa ‘yan: mahigpit na MGCQ o maluwag na GCQ. Kapag titignan mo mas maganda talaga na naka-GCQ tayo kahit magluwag ka ng konti pero meron kang talagang mas mataaas na panuntunan kaysa yung nag MGCQ ka pagkatapos hihigpitan mo,” he said.

The Department of Trade and Industry earlier said that Metro Manila could be placed under modified GCQ as this would allow the reopening of more industries to help revive the economy.

The IATF is also set to meet with Duterte on Sunday night to discuss the next quarantine classifications in NCR. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Davao LGU to require air passengers to file online form, secure QR code starting Oct. 12

Robie de Guzman   •   September 25, 2020

The government of Davao City has announced it will soon require the submission of online form and QR code for passengers bound for Davao International Airport.

In an advisory, the city government said it is set to conduct a test run on Oct. 7 to Oct. 11 for the said policy, which is being eyed to be implemented starting Oct. 12.

The process seeks to improve the RT-PCR testing procedures for people arriving at the Davao International Airport by addressing issues pertaining to the convenience of passengers, the wellness and safety of the frontliners, and the speed with which confirmed COVID-19 positive passengers and those seated close to them on board are identified and located.

The city government said its IT department developed the online passenger data recording that needs to be completely filled out and submitted after the issuance of a boarding pass at the airport of origin.

This process will require passengers to use a smartphone, internet connection, and to prepare a valid ID, boarding pass, and their 24 hours to 72 hours negative RT-PCR test result, if they already have one.

The data captured is based on the same information that is required by the Department of Health during testing, the local government said.

“This move is envisioned to issue a unique QR code and create a no-contact, paperless recording of each arriving passenger and his test result,” it added.

During the test run, all passengers will be requested to use the online form to fast track testing and assignment of a holding facility.

A sample form published by the city government can be viewed here.

“We expect everyone’s full cooperation in our efforts to protect all Mindanawons from Covid-19,” it said.

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Boracay Island to open on Oct. 1 for residents from GCQ areas

Marje Pelayo   •   September 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force has approved the proposed reopening of Boracay Island starting October 1 following recommendation from the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Such a move is part of the government’s recovery efforts from the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The resumption of tourism in Boracay would mean residents from areas under general community quarantine, including Metro Manila will soon be allowed to enter the island.

However, the government reminds the public of the strict health and safety protocols that go with the reopening of the famous tourist destination.

One of which is mandatory swab testing for all visitors before they can be allowed entry.

“Isa sa mga requirements na pinag-uusapan iyong RT-PCR (test) bago pumasok doon sa isla (One requirement under discussion is the RT-PCR test before entering the island),” noted Tourism Undersecretary Benito Benzon.

“Mayroon pa ring pagmomonitor ng movements ng mga turista pagpasok sa Boracay, so kailangan may pre-arranged reservations ,may QR code iyan para namomonitor lahat ng pumapasok (Monitoring the movement of tourists inside Boracay remains in place so they need to have pre-arranged reservations, QR code, to monitor every person that comes in),” he added.

For his part, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año assured that Boracay is now prepared to accept visitors. 

If in any case, a COVID-19 positive slips into the island, the agency has prepared enough facilities for isolation.

“Doon mismo sa Boracay ay mayroon tayong COVID isolation facility doon. Kung mayroong mag-positive or suspected, dadalhin agad sa mainland [Aklan] (There is a COVID isolation facility inside Boracay. In case someone tests positive or suspected of having the disease, the patient will be transferred immediately to the mainland [Aklan]),” the official said.

Well in place ang nakita namin preparations nila (Their preparations are well in place),” he assured. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

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