Pateros Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III has reiterated that his policy of tagging houses with identified coronavirus disease (COVID-19) positive cases and their close contacts are voluntary.
“I repeat, our [policy] to put a ribbon on the houses of those who test positive and close contacts is voluntary and will not be forced on anyone,” he said in a live broadcast on Facebook.
He added, “This is if you only agree. If you don’t, just tell us if someone forces you. This will not be forced on you as this will result in violation.”
The mayor said putting yellow ribbon on houses is being done so that the implementation of granular lockdown will be more effective.
“After all, as I have said, this is no longer embarrassing. We are now open to the public if you get COVID or get infected with COVID because this is just like contracting a cold or cough because we are nearing to have herd immunity in Pateros,” said Ponce.
Ponce found an ally in Usec. for Barangay Affairs Martin Diño of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
During the “Laging Handa” public briefing last Sept. 22, Diño said what Ponce is doing “is just to identify who will be given ‘ayuda’ [assistance].”
But he said revealing the names of COVID-19 positive individuals is prohibited.
He said a house can be closed under granular lockdown, saying, “You can close a house but how are you going to close it? It’s by guarding it. The lockdown is to ensure that no one in the house will go out.”
Diño said authorities need to identify the start and end of the area put under granular lockdown.
“Under granular lockdown, the community does not know nor the neighbors [who are positive]. But we identify and we guard the area that we identified under granular lockdown. That is what I meant,” he said.