By Chito Chavez
Department of the Interior and Local government (DILG) Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Diño warned the public on Thursday that the government may be forced to revert areas back to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from the less severe general community quarantine (GCQ) if stubborn residents fail to adjust to the precautionary measures under the “new normal.”
He explained that the DILG has loosen its grip in areas where there is less risk of COVID-19 spread, but is mandated to revert them to ECQ when needed.
Diño added he will issue show-cause orders to local government units (LGUs) that are negligent in imposing strict quarantine protocols.
Reports from GMA News showed that residents in some areas under GCQ have become lax and are foregoing precautionary measures against COVID-19.
After ECQ was lifted in Cagayan de Oro and placed under GCQ, some residents rejoiced prematurely and broke quarantine rules. Despite enforcers being deployed to public markets, consumers continued to break physical distancing guidelines to buy food and other basic necessities.
In Cotabato City, the same report disclosed that consumers flocked the markets with total disregard for quarantine protocols.
In Bulan, Sorsogon, the number of consumers doubled in public markets after ECQ was relaxed.
Diño said disturbances that put public safety at great risk may leave the DILG with no other option but to bring back ECQ in areas previously downgraded to GCQ.