By Jonathan Hicap
The Muntinlupa City government will install isolation areas in barangays and is eyeing to prohibit the hoarding of basic commodities as measures following the declaration of Code Red Sub-level 2 and “community quarantine” by President Duterte in Metro Manila.
The President barred land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel in and out of Metro Manila from March 15 to April 14 as a drastic measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi held an emergency meeting with members of the Local Disaster Risk Response and Management Council on Friday to discuss the city’s action plan with barangay officials and representatives of the private sector.
“As the situation on COVID-19 develops, we all have a responsibility to ensure that the virus won’t rapidly spread in our communities,” he said.
The Philippine National Police (PNP)-Muntinlupa has identified choke points in the city’s boundaries for initial inspections while awaiting the final guidelines for the restriction of land travel to and from Metro Manila.
Muntinlupa is Metro Manila’s gateway to the Calabarzon area and is bounded by Laguna and Cavite.
The Muntinlupa-San Pedro main boundary is located on the National Road in Barangay Tunasan in Muntinlupa. There are several entry and exit points to and from Muntinlupa, and Cavite and Laguna.
According to Muntinlupa City Health Officer Teresa Tuliao, there are now designated triage areas to serve as quarantine areas at the city-run Ospital ng Muntinlupa in Alabang for suspected COVID-19 cases.
Barangays were also ordered to install isolation areas for residents suspected to have contracted the virus for monitoring by the local health office.
“The quarantine areas in the barangays serve as an augmentation to the triaging efforts of our tertiary hospitals. Our barangays will be the frontline in our fight against the spread of the virus. The barangay health centers are equipped to handle persons under investigation [for COVID-19],” Tuliao said.
The transport of patients in Muntinlupa is 24/7 and can be requested through the City Health Office at 541-4813 or the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office at 925-4382.
The Muntinlupa City Council is also mulling the passing of an ordinance regulating consumer behavior during the “community quarantine.”
Councilor Raul Corro, majority floor leader, said they will look into passing a local legislation to address panic buying and prohibit the hoarding of basic commodities, and will also discuss a resolution encouraging the youth to observe a time of prayer during the quarantine period.
Fresnedi urged the public not to panic and remain calm, practice good personal hygiene, observe social distancing, and adopt healthy lifestyles.