DILG warns: Relief operations unauthorized by LGUs are unlawful

Published May 4, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chito Chavez

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday insisted that relief operations without the certification of the concerned local government units (LGUs) are unlawful.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (Photo from Philippine Information Agency / MANILA BULLETIN)
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (Photo from Philippine Information Agency / MANILA BULLETIN)

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año has instructed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to strictly implement the policy to ensure that only authorized individuals are outside of their residences.

He reiterated that the policy ensures that no enhanced or general community quarantine (ECQ, GCQ) protocols are violated.

Año said all efforts and assistance for the people are welcome so long as it complies with all ECQ measures as huge sacrifices have been made to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in communities.

“There is no problem in wanting to help, just ensure that the LGUs are notified,” Año said.

“Helping is a beautiful deed, lalo na ngayong tayo ay nasa krisis (especially now that we are in a crisis). The ECQ measures are enforced not to curtail the people’s rights, especially the ones who are generous to share and help their fellow Filipinos, but to ensure that coronavirus doesn’t spread, at itong pagtulong sa pamamagitan ng pamimigay ng relief goods ay hinihikayat, dapat lang ay ipaalam sa mga LGU (and the help through the distribution of relief goods is encouraged, but must be certified by the LGU),” Año said.

Año said in some cases, the relief operations of private entities are conducted without a certification from the LGU and the people distributing the relief goods do not have quarantine passes.

He noted that one of the basic guidelines imposed by the Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the DILG under the ECQ is that no individual is allowed to go out of their homes without a quarantine pass.

Año added that the conduct of relief distribution without the LGUs’ knowledge heightens the risk of further infection and community transmission, defeating the purpose of restricting people’s movement to contain the spread of COVID-19.

In some instances, Año said some groups pretend to conduct legitimate activities in order to sell illegal drugs, hoard medical items, and conduct propaganda activities.