Robredo asks IATF: Give LGUs more time to adjust to new alert level system

Published October 24, 2021, 3:08 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday, October 24, asked the national government and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to give local government units (LGU) more time as they adjust to the new COVID-19 alert level system being piloted in several provinces and cities.

Vice President Leni Robredo (Jansen Romero/MANILA BULLETIN)

Robredo criticized the government anew after the alert level system sowed confusion among LGUs.

The confusion led to the back-and-forth protocols and regulations regarding the operating capacity of businesses, as well as the age bracket that can be allowed in outdoor and indoor establishments.

“Sana ayusin pero pambihira na (I hope it will be fixed, but it’s already unbelievable) one and half years na tayo sa pandemic hindi pa din natin naiintindihan ito dahil sa kung anu-ano, dahil sa papalit-palit (in the pandemic we cannot still understand this because of all the changes),” Robredo said over dzXL.

“Bago sana sila magdemand sa LGU na ganito yung papasundin, sana ready na. Sana ready na iyong panuntunan kung ano iyong kailangang gawin (Before they demand the LGU to follow this, it should be ready. The protocols to be followed should be ready),” she added.

The alert level system, which replaced the quarantine classification system, was piloted in NCR. But last week, the alert level system was also piloted in provinces outside Metro Manila.

READ: 19 areas added to ALS pilot study–Roque

The League of Provinces of the Philippines reportedly called out the IATF for not giving them enough time to adjust to the new system. They asked the national government to defer the implementation of the alert system to November 1, but Malacañang maintained that stakeholders have already been consulted.

Several provinces such as Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal eased to Alert Level 3, which supposedly allows 30 percent dine-in indoor capacity and 50 percent outdoor dining. The alert level should have also allowed even minors to go out of their homes.

But the LGUs still maintained that only vaccinated minors or those 12 to 17 years old who received their COVID-19 vaccines will be allowed outside.

Robredo shared that her office sent a letter to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque requesting to include the different leagues in the task force so they can have “representation.”

READ: LGUs in provinces chosen to enforce alert level system were consulted, says Roque

The request was denied because the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is considered as the official representative body also for the leagues.

“Ang daming gaps. Hindi sila napapakinggan so hanggang ngayon problema natin ‘to. Kung nakinig sila dati e di sana early on nabigyan ito ng linaw kasi napapakinggan sila (There are so many gaps. They weren’t consulted so until now, this is our problem. If they only listened before then early on, this was clarified because they were consulted),” Robredo said.