By Chito Chavez
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged the public on Saturday to report errant barangay officials violating the guidelines imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) regarding the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the report against erring barangay officials may be coursed through the DILG telephone numbers of 8876-3454 local 8806 to 8811.
He said the report will be treated with confidentiality to protect the public from the possible rage of the stubborn and non-complying barangay officials.
Malaya said the DILG has received numerous reports of ECQ violations, particularly on the imposition of curfew hours and the manner by which barangay personnel check the quarantine passes of household members.
The DILG has also received reports that numerous Caloocan City and Manila residents have violated the imposed curfew hours in their respective barangays.
Aside from the violation of the curfew hours, Malaya also encouraged the public to report barangay officials who issue more than the allowed one quarantine pass per household.
Malaya told barangay officials they would be answerable to the DILG if they commit these kinds of offenses which defeat the purpose of preventing the spread of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).
Also, Malaya reminded barangay personnel to strictly observe the social distancing process, after reports reached the DILG of instances where household members were made to line up while their quarantine passes were being checked.
To avoid confusion, the DILG reminded the local government units not to impose their own lockdowns and simply follow the IATF guidelines.
Reports disclosed that loiterers, to escape liability from curfew hour violations, have barricaded some streets in the guise of being volunteers of the ECQ.
Some of these men manning the illegal checkpoints are either under the influence of illegal drugs or liquor, sowing more public panic.
Some of these were observed in Quezon City, particularly at the boundary of Barangay Botocan in the city’s fourth district and Barangay Quirino 2-C of the city’s third district.
“They even had the gall to post their wrongdoing on their Facebook pages. The DILG and the PNP should have them arrested,’’ a retired school teacher who lives in the area said.