By Allysa Nievera
Capas, Tarlac Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan said they are offering their ‘home’ to the repatriated Filipinos from Wuhan China.
“We in Capas, offer our home, our sympathy, and prayers for the health of our fellow Filipinos” Catacutan said in a statement posted on Capas Information Office Facebook page on Sunday.
“Filipinos, always help each other at wala pong makakapagpabago doon” he added.
Catacutan said that he wanted to clarify his first statement regarding the New Clark City as the quarantine zone for the repatriated Filipinos.
“While it is true that I, as a Filipino, am in favor of the repatriation of OFWs from the province of Hubei, China, I feel perturbed by the fact that Department of Health (DOH) did not at all, in any way, involve the Capas LGU in its last-minute decision for New Clark City Capas to be used as quarantine zone for these Persons under Monitoring (PUMs).” he said.
“We acknowledge that the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has full jurisdiction over NCC, but I, as the mayor of Capas, appeal in behalf of all Capaseños to our dear President Rodrigo Duterte and DOH Secretary Francisco Duque to consider another place or facility as isolation area.” he added.
Catacutan said his reaction was natural for a head of a town who only aims to protect his people.
“This was not a FINAL STAND. I repeat, THIS WAS NOT A FINAL STAND but an initial reaction from a father who was protecting his family. Bilang ama ng Capas na malayo sa kanila, I initially reacted dahil nag cause po ng panic ang biglaang balita na sa New Clark City dadalhin ang mga repatriated Filipinos na under monitoring.”
(Being the father of Capas who was away from them, I initially reacted because it caused panic when the news about the repatriated Filipino under monitoring will be brought to New Clark City)
The mayor also said they were not informed of the decision which caused fake news because they weren’t able to inform the residents.
“We were blindsided. And we owed it to our people na mag explain sa kanila pero wala kaming full information the very moment na lumabas po ito sa national news,” he said.
(We were blindsided. And we owed it to our people to explain to them but we do not have full information the very moment it came out on national news)
Catacutan also stated that the people were confused on the decision to use NCC as the quarantine site, since it is a sports facility and if it will fit the needs of the repatriated Filipinos.
He also said that they are worried on the future of New Clark City since it originally has upcoming events.
“Ano ang magiging implication nito sa image ng Capas at ng New Clark City gayong may mga upcoming events sana dito. Ano kaya ang magiging future ng NCC kung magiging quarantine zone ito at biglang may magpositive. Ang NCC na ginastusan po ng napakalaki ng national government at ipinagmalaki natin bilang world-class facility. Baka masayang at magkaroon ng stigma o irreversible negative image bilang quarantine zone.” he said.
(What will be the implication on the image of Capas and New Clark City since it originally has upcoming events. What will be the future of NCC if it will be the quarantine zone and if ever there will be a positive case. NCC was funded by the national government and a world class facility. It might go to waste and have a stigma or irreversible negative image as a quarantine zone)
Catacutan clarified that the reaction of the residents of Capas is a result of not informing the LGU of the sudden change of the quarantine site.
Catacutan said they do not own the NCC and it doesn’t need any permission from the LGU, but if they were just have been informed before it was released on national news.
“Wala pong authority ang LGU Capas sa New Clark City. By all means, hindi po kailangan magpaalam nino man sa amin para magamit ang mga facility na ito.”he said.
(The Capas LGU has no authority on the New Clark City, by all means, it doesn’t need our permission so they can be able to use the facility.)
“Karapatan po nilang malaman ang mga bagay na ganito lalo na it is a health concern at globally pinag uusapan po ito. Hindi po liability ang community kung sila ay well-infomed, mas makakatulong po sila kung aware sila.” he added.
(It is their right to know these things especially it is a global health concern, it is not the liability of the community if they are well-informed, they should’ve help more if they are aware.)
Meanwhile, Capas, Tarlac Acting Mayor Roseller Rodriguezn noted that the local residents want the Department of Health (DOH) to provide them with free facial masks and alcohol adding that Red Cross representatives be made available to allow them to further seek medical attention in cases they are afflicted with flu-like symptoms.
The 30 repatriated Filipinos from Wuhan China, which was the epicenter of the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019 nCoV-ARD) arrived in the Philippines on Sunday morning and was immediately brought to the Athlete’s village in New Clark City, Tarlac for the 14-day quarantine. (with a report from Chito Chavez)