Owing to the gradual lifting of restrictions on certain activities and age groups amid the pandemic, apart from the nearing holidays, we expect a surge in the volume of people coming to the city and with this comes the possibility of an unwelcome increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
This is why we in the city government of Manila are continuously implementing the rules laid out by the Inter-Agency Task Force and our very own city ordinances that were labored upon and passed by the city council headed by Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna as its presiding officer.
For my part, I will never get tired of calling on one and all, Manilans or non-Manilans – if you truly love yourself and you say you love your family, show it by means of actions and not mere words.
Apart from consistently wearing face masks, bear in mind that we cannot be congregating in a particular place altogether. We are aware that in the past eight months, the World Health Organization had been constantly reminding us that the surest way to get infected with the coronavirus or have community transmission is by being close to one another. This is why one of the simple and basic protocols against
COVID-19 is the implementation of social distancing.
Now, we are bent on enforcing this. In fact, we might even jail violators. We are willing to go this far if the rules are being flagrantly and intentionally violated.
We are not talking of the recent events in Divisoria alone. It also came to my attention that there are some priests who are fond of circumventing rules and holding parades or processions.
Let us put a stop to all these. I am pleading with those behind such activities. I myself am a Catholic. I guess nothing more could be asked of us. Our message is clear that in Manila, “God First!” is our motto.
If we truly love God, the leaders of the Church, and I mean not only the Catholic but all churches, I implore them to halt all other activities that would invite the danger of contracting COVID-19, apart from masses or worship.
I hope religious authorities will stop planning other activities. Just last week, someone was into planning again but I will not name the person concerned.
Instead of us focusing on disciplining the citizens, our efforts will be dissipated unnecessarily just because we have to stop our religious leaders from doing things that would violate the rules.
We will then tell them that we will have to charge them and this is something none of us would even want to hear at all.
Why do we have to go this far? Why can’t we just let what is right prevail? We are talking about safety.
Now if anyone will still plan on going against the rules, we will hold them liable. We will also use every other law available to make sure that the law is applied on anybody who will stage gatherings and parades or processions that are not allowed under IATF rules.
I’m sorry but I have the obligation to ensure the safety of all citizens of Manila and those who come to the city. I am duty-bound to do that and I will perform my mandate.
To the shoppers, you are all welcome in Manila. Don’t get me wrong. I invite you to do your shopping in Manila. To take advantage of the cheap wares in Divisoria. However, we request that you do not crowd a particular area and still observe physical distancing or COVID-19 will get you.
It would be sad that in your desire to save, you will let your guard down and get infected with COVID-19. You will be spending up to a million or more if you get the coronavirus and inspite of this, there is no assurance that you will survive, which is why it is important to care and have concern for your own self and for others and to have discipline.
I may sound like a broken record and make your ears bleed but I will never get tired of reminding everyone that the dangers posed by COVID-19 remain in our midst. Don’t get too excited about getting into drinking sessions and parties.
Don’t ever take COVID-19 lightly because it is no joke. It continues to kill and I don’t want anyone regretting. That is my constant plea.
In return, we in the city officialdom, specially I and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, will ensure that whatever funds the city has, they will be put to good and necessary use.
We will stop at nothing to putting things in proper order and the welfare of Manilans above all other things. However, we will need the support and cooperation of the citizens, first and foremost.
Gaya ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first!
For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit
my Facebook account – “IskoMoreno Domagoso”