DILG faces contact tracing nightmare in Caloocan resort gathering

It will be extremely difficult to track down and perform contact tracing on the patrons of a Caloocan City resort where coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related health protocols have been gleefully violated.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya (Screengrab from Facebook live)

Thus, said Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya on Thursday, May 13, even as he blamed the "negligent" management of the resort, Gubat sa Ciudad, for having incomplete information in its logbook.

He said that while 496 guest stubs in total were issued by Gubat sa Ciudad, he was unsure if all of the people who went there filled up the resort's logbook.

Out of the 496 guest stubs, only 232 wrote down their cellular phone numbers. But not all numbers could be reached when contacted.

The resort guests came from Caloocan, Bulacan, Malabon, Manila, Quezon City and Valenzuela City. Seventy-two have already undergone swabbing, Malaya said.

It was last Sunday, May 9, when photos taken within the resort of people frolicking in the swimming pool went viral online. It was clear from the photos that the anti-mass gathering rule was violated, and that there was no social distancing among patrons.

Leisure activities are currently prohibited in areas placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ. Metro Manila will remain under MECQ until May 14.

Malaya said 70 local government unit (LGU)-supervised contact tracers have been tapped to find ways to track down all the 496 guests.

Despite having no reports of a positive COVID-19 case as a result of the incident, Malaya said that the public "must be vigilant and not be complacent’’. He also underscored the need to make simple sacrifices like observing health protocols until the country reaches herd immunity.

Meanwhile, the DILG official confirmed that they've issued a show cause order to Barangay 171 Captain Romeo Rivera for the mass gathering incident that occured at the resort, which is located in his jurisdiction.

Malaya said Rivera also has a pending administrative case for gross neglect of duty and acts prejudicial to the best interest of the service before the Sangguniang Bayan (City Council).

Malaya noted that the DILG has filed charges against Rodolfo de Guzman, Gubat sa Ciudad president; Aleli Manzano de Guzman, general manager, and eight other resort management members for violation of Republic Act 11332 and City Ordinance 0863 series of 2021.