ARTA orders Parañaque barangay chair to explain refusal to give quarantine passes

Published August 11, 2021, 3:12 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has served a show-cause order to another barangay executive for alleged refusal to give quarantine passes to residents who have not yet completed their vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

ARTA serves show-cause order to Barangay San Isidro Chairman Noel Japlos of Parañaque City for alleged refusal to give quarantine passes to residents not yet fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (ARTA)

ARTA made the statement after Barangay San Isidro Chairman Noel Japlos of Parañaque City went live on Facebook on August 4 and informed his constituents that only those who received both required shots of the COVID-19 vaccines will be given the quarantine pass for the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Ang bibigyan lang po ng Q-Pass ay ‘yung mga fully vaccinated,” Japlos said in the video, answering a query from one of the viewers of his Facebook Live.

In a statement, ARTA said it sent the show-cause order to Japlos via email on Tuesday, August 10, after the Facebook post was forwarded to the agency.

Based on the order, Japlos was given seven days to explain why he should not be charged for refusing to accept applications or requests with complete documents being submitted and for imposing additional requirements that are not listed in the Citizen’s Charter.

These were violations under the Ease of Doing Business Act.

ARTA Director-General Jeremiah Belgica described the incident as a red tape issue because there was no rule stating that those claiming quarantine passes must be vaccinated.

“Naiintindihan ko po ang kagustuhan ng mga barangay officials nating mag-ingat ngayong pandemya. Pero tigilan na po natin ang pagpapahirap sa mga tao (I understand the desire of barangay officials to be careful during the pandemic but let us not make the lives of the people difficult),” he said.

“Huwag na po natin silang dagdagan ng mga requirements na hindi naman kabilang sa mga itinakda ng gobyerno (Let us not add requirements that were not part of what the government set),” he added.

Belgica advised government officials to follow the law as ARTA will not stop monitoring them, even during the two-week ECQ, and might even file a case against them if they would do otherwise.

On August 6, ARTA also served show-cause orders against two barangay executives in Quezon City for requiring vaccination cards from those claiming quarantine passes.