Digos mayor looks to put the city back under ECQ

By Warren Elijah Valdez

DAVAO CITY — Digos City mayor Joseph Cagas is considering to place the city back under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

In a virtual press interview with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) XI on May 6, the city mayor bared that he is intending prepare a letter addressed to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año requesting to exempt the city from the implementation of the general community quarantine (GCQ).

Nine days after the GCQ took effect in Digos City on April 28, Cagas said it was observed that there had been an influx of people who have gone outside of their residences and people coming into the city, noting that some people may have presumed that the city have returned to the “old” normalcy.

“So, we have observed that there are many people going outside… That is why we have informed the public through our media outlets, the social media, and we even reached out to the different barangays to inform the public on what should be observed during the general community quarantine or the new normal,” Cagas said.

The city mayor also said that there is still a need to intensify its protocols in preventing the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) from entering the borders as the city is also “a melting pot,” where people from various places in the region comes in and passes through.

He pointed out that there was already an increase in the number of people entering the city to attend to their various business transactions upon the lifting of ECQ.

“This is a converging city, which is why right now, I would want to ask for an exemption because I want to return back to enhanced community quarantine,” Cagas said.

If not, Cagas added that he wants to have a lockdown on the different borders of the city.

He said they are now studying how to control the flow of people coming in and out of Digos City, particularly from those areas in the region notable for COVID-19 cases, stressing that it is also a challenge for the local government to just close its borders as the city lies in the middle of the region, literally at crossroads of vehicles coming from different areas that pass through its national highways.

“Because I could not ensure that all of our borders will be able to secure that those who will be entering the city are really free from COVID-19,” he said.