By Chito Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday reiterated the urgency to come up with strategies to allow the full enforcement of quarantine protocols in the overcrowded depressed areas.
He issued the statement after reports reaching the DILG revealed that physical distancing is not fully observed by the residents in these places.
In the slum areas, drinking sprees in public places, illegal gambling activities like “tupada (illegal cockfighting)’’ and violation of curfew hours are prevalent.
Año reminded the public that gambling activities during wakes which are common occurrences before the COVID-19 pandemic are illegal as they are against quarantine protocols.
He has strongly pushed for the construction of isolation facilities for the illegal dweller families where the COVID-19 positive or suspected patients may be confined or quarantined.
In the densely populated areas like the slums, Año asserted the urgency of conducting fast contact tracing methods where the suspected COVID-19 patients may immediately be transported to the isolation facilities.
He warned the public that stricter quarantine protocols will be imposed to avert the spread of COVID-19.
The DILG chief also cautioned rogue police officers against committing extortion or similar corrupt acts in performing their tasks especially during the quarantine period.
Some residents have complained that corrupt police officers had extorted money from quarantine violators in exchange for their freedom.
Año urged the public to report such illegal acts of the police to the DILG or proper authorities.