Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año is imposing a one-pass-per-family order here to ensure “strict home quarantine” particularly in high-risk villages, the chair of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (RIATF-EID) said on Wednesday.
Leocadio Trovela, DILG-Central Visayas regional director and RIATF-EID-Region 7 chair, said Año ordered the suspension of the city government-issued quarantine passes to pave the way for the implementation of a stringent “stay-at-home” protocol to avert further increase in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
The 250,000 quarantine passes issued by the city government to the residents are too many, he said.
“Masyadong marami (They are too many). It defeats the purpose of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) if the local government issues so many passes. We can no longer control the people from going out of their home,” Trovela said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
He said that because of the too many passes previously issued, residents could easily roam around the city even if they had no essential transactions to do.
Año’s instruction before flying back to Manila on Wednesday morning was to put “on board barangay officials and the PNP (Philippine National Police) in processing the distribution of the city quarantine passes.
Trovela also told the PNA that the appeal of Mayor Edgardo Labella for a downgrading of the risk classification here to general community quarantine (GCQ) which was submitted by the RIATF-EID-7 to its national counterpart is still awaiting feedback.
“Hindi naman yun (It was not) deemed abandoned. Pero wala pa lang tayong (We have not received) feedback yet from the IATF until President (Rodrigo) Duterte assigned Secretary (Roy) Cimatu to oversee our Covid-19 response in Cebu City,” he said.
Shortly after the national government reverted the city to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) last week, Labella submitted his appeal for GCQ to the RIATF.
The second ECQ, Trovela said, will end on June 30, but the next risk classification of the city will depend on how aggressive the officials here are implementing drastic measures from the IATF, through Cimatu.
Among the measures was strict home quarantine, particularly in high-risk barangays like Mambaling, he said.
Apart from Cimatu, Duterte also sent Año, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to this capital city of Cebu province on Tuesday to assist the Environment chief in overseeing the national government’s response to the Covid-19 concerns. (PNA)