Local Government Units (LGUs) should be consulted first before policies to fight the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) are implemented by the national government, the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) said Thursday, Feb. 18.
LPP president and Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco stressed the importance of consultation, saying concurrence of LGUs before any area is placed under any quarantine status is essential since they are aware of the prevailing situations in their respective localities.
In an interview over ABS-CBN Teleradyo, Velasco said that the LGUs must be allowed to impose lockdowns “immediately’’ in case of a surge in COVID-19 cases and should be consulted in easing quarantine measures such as the reopening of cinemas and arcades in GCQ areas.
Since they are enclosed structures, Velasco noted that many LPP members are against the opening of cinemas, arcades and similar establishments.
Velasco revealed that LPP has yet to decide officially on the proposal to place the entire country under the least restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in March but maintained that this is possible with the LGUs being consulted.
However, Velasco disclosed that LPP would agree to the proposal to allow persons aged 12 to 70 years old to leave their residence as the group also pushed for more public transportation vehicles to accommodate the commuters.
In a GMA News report, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) noted that placing the entire Philippines under MGCQ is expected to reduce hunger in areas still under stringent lockdowns.
But representatives from various sectors expressed opposing views to the NEDA’s proposal.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) agreed with NEDA’s recommendation which will be submitted to the President for approval.