By Chito Chavez
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday clarified that the localized lockdowns in towns and cities are comparable to a “decentralized system’’ that do not need the approval from the national government.
In a press briefing, DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya stressed that the local government units (LGUs) may enforced social community lockdowns (SCL) in selected high risk areas of the barangays with the concurrence of the regional Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
“Hindi na po yan pinapaaalam or kinukuhan ng approval from the national government dahil basta po hanggang barangay, sitio o kalsada yan po ay decision na po ng mayor (This does not need the permission or the approval of the national government since this is only within the barangay, community or street. That is already the decision of the mayor) and then with the concurrence with the regional IATF,’’ Malaya said.
However, Malaya clarified that the LGUs must be capable of enforcing the localized lockdowns in their respective turfs and should have organized their quick reaction teams (QRTs) to attend to the needs of the residents in the lockdown areas.
Malaya issued the clarification at the heels of mounting complaints that some road blocks have caused traffic congestion on the adjacent streets.
A motorist cruising along Mindanao Avenue in Barangay Project 6, Quezon City insisted that the roadblocks in the barangay were merely put up by the local residents in the area without the permission of the mayor’s office.
Having supervision over the city government, another motorist appealed to the DILG to instruct the Quezon City government to dismantle the needless roadblocks.
Earlier, the DILG stressed checkpoints or roadblocks of any form are not allowed to be placed without the permission of the local police.
A motorcycle of a delivery service company insisted that some thugs, goons and suspicious looking characters especially in the depressed areas are merely “ego tripping’’ in an apparent show of authority.
However, the motorcycle driver explained that it is a different case when an area is under the lockdown due to the high-number or surge of COVID-19 cases.