As the region transitions to more relaxed community quarantine measures, the Department of the Interior and Local Government Cordillera regional office (DILG-CAR) enjoins the public and the local government units (LGUs) to remain vigilant and adapt to the new normal to avoid the spread of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Based on the COVID-19 Inter-agency Task Force Resolution No. 41, all six (6) provinces and highly urbanized city in the region are included in the list of areas that are placed under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that LGUs should strictly implement the minimum health standards – use of face masks in public places, implementation of curfew, observance of physical distancing, limited capacity in allowed public transportation, among others. He also said that LGUs must utilize their authority to impose localized lockdowns in critical barangays so long as there in concurrence with the regional IATF.
“Dapat paigtingin ng mga opisyal sa ating mga lokal na pamahalaan mula sa probinsya hanggang sa mga barangay ang kanilang mga ginagawa para masigurong ligtas lahat mula sa pagkalat ng sakit; nakasalalay sa inyo na mabawasan ang mga kaso ng COVID-19 sa inyong komunidad,” he added.
DILG Cordillera regional director Marlo Iringan re-echoed the statement of Sec. Año, saying, “MGCQ means more activities are allowed, more individuals are permitted to go outside, therefore we need to be more careful. We need to be reminded that the virus remains a threat to the community. Isang malaking hamon sa’tin kung papaano natin sasanayin ang publiko na maging disiplinado. Ang gusto natin ay maging bahagi ang mamamayan sa solusyon at hindi magiging bahagi ng problema,” said Dir. Iringan.
Dir. Iringan also clarified on the issue of quarantine passes now that the region is under MGCQ, saying that passes are no longer mandatory unless the LGU will require it, specifically in critical and buffer zones. LGUs have the discretion to implement their local guidelines so long as it does not contradict the basic policies from IATF.
In a memorandum issued by DILG on June 1, it was also underscored that travels across provinces will still require a travel authority except for work-related undertakings.
Meanwhile, the DILG Cordillera is doing its best to adapt to the new normal by enhancing its IT capability to make sure that the services being rendered by the office are not compromised amid the crisis. Further, the office is currently preparing for the Quality Management System surveillance audit through a series of online meetings.
Although, the ‘no visitor policy’ is being implemented in the regional office and all its field operating units, DILG CAR assures its clients that it shall continue to provide quality service and will act on the concerns of its stakeholders virtually.
“We will still continue to perform as expected. We are not yet off the hook considering that the vaccine or the cure is yet to be discovered. We prepare together,” concluded Dir. Iringan in a virtual teleconference last June 3.
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