By Chito Chavez
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday reminded the public to stay home as the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) remains in effect in the entire Luzon to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
DILG Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya, in a radio interviews noted that the people loitering in public places either forgot that the ECQ is still enforced or are simply stubborn and testing the limits of the authorities.
With this observation, President Duterte has ordered the police and personnel of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to strictly enforce the ECQ protocol against erring motorists plying EDSA.
To avoid any more COVID-19 related woes, Malaya appealed to the public to cooperate and follow the ECQ protocols, saying that it is a logical way to contain the spread of the virus.
The ECQ was supposed to end on April 12 but President Duterte extended it to April 30, citing that Luzon has not yet “flatten the curve’’ in reference to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Malaya understood that the public had already sacrificed a lot during the lockdown, but he stressed that the sacrifice during health emergencies is a shared responsibility between the citizen and the public.
He also recognized that some local government units (LGUs) are imposing severe regulations in the communities to protect the residents under their jurisdiction.
Malaya cited the decision of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso to impose a total lockdown at Barangay 20 in Tondo after boxing bouts and bingo events were held recently, violating the social distancing regulation imposed by the national government.
Moreno, who hailed from the same barangay during his younger years, understood that the residents are not used to movement constraint. However, he said drastic measures should be enforced to combat the spread of COVID-19 and to spare them from being infected by the disease.