LGUs need go signal from IATF to impose lockdowns

By Chito Chavez

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on April 24, Friday, clarified that local chief executives (LCE) are no longer allowed to impose their own lockdowns without the go signal of the national government.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año  (PCOO/ MANILA BULLETIN) DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (PCOO/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Año issued the statement during a news briefing, after the President extended the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and in several other areas to May 15.

He stressed that local officials need to get a thumbs-up from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19 before they can lawfully impose lockdowns.

Año maintained the LCEs can no longer make a unilateral declaration of ECQs in the provinces without the IATF approval.

Previously, local officials were allowed to declare lockdowns within their respective areas, in coordination with the DILG.

Año warned that unilateral declarations of lockdowns would make the locality ineligible to receive cash assistance from the national government.

Aside from Metro Manila, some of the areas were ECQs remain in effect until May 15 are

Southern Tagalog (Calabarzon) and Central Luzon regions, Mindoro island, the provinces of Pangasinan, Benguet, Catanduanes, and Albay; Antique, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, and Cebu in the Visayas; and Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, and Davao City in Mindanao.