Sec. Eduardo M. Año
Considering the ongoing measures being implemented to prevent the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the 75-day road clearing operations of local government units (LGUs) nationwide that began on February 17, 2020 is suspended starting today and shall resume upon the issuance of an advisory by the DILG.
Suspending the second round of road clearing operations would ensure that local chief executives (LCEs) will be able to focus all their efforts in fighting COVID-19 in compliance with the guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved by the President.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), particularly the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) as well as police offices in Regions 3, 4-A, 4-B, and 5, are now on full alert status after the COVID-19 alert status has been raised to sublevel 2 last Friday.
In line with this, all local government officials are prohibited from traveling outside the country in the next 30 days to ensure that they are hands-on in fighting COVID in their respective localities.
During the community quarantine period where Stringent Social Distancing Measure is being implemented, all provincial governors and mayors of highly urbanized cities as well as Senators and Congressmen are free to travel to and out of Metro Manila in the performance of their official functions. Mayors of component cities and municipalities may be allowed to enter Metro Manila subject to approval of this Department on a case-to-case basis.
A total of 40,000 police officers are now deployed to enforce the community quarantine and set up checkpoints in Metro Manila.
We assure the public of the sufficiency of uniformed police and military officers who will man checkpoints around Metro Manila. They shall follow all lawful protocols in manning checkpoints and are advised to be courteous but firm in performing their duties.
Further, the DILG’s scheduled activities in the regional or field offices are postponed as we have prohibited all types of mass gatherings to regulate movement of people to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Nonetheless, the DILG Central Office and the DILG NCR Regional Office shall continue to serve and operate through skeletal workforces and flexible work arrangements to strengthen the coordination between the Department and the LGUs as well as the Interior sector.
As the President has pronounced in his public address on Thursday, the Department asks the public’s utmost cooperation and understanding. Para po sa kabutihan nating lahat ang ito. Sa pamamagitan ng disiplina sa ating mga sarili, sa kalinisan at kalusugan, sa pagsunod sa mga panuntunan ng nasyunal at lokal na pamahalaan ay malalagpasan din natin ang banta ng COVID-19.
Panahon po ito ng pagsubok sa ating tapang at malasakit sa bawat isa at lalo na ang disiplina nating mga Pilipino. Bagaman may abalang naidudulot ang ating preventive measures laban sa COVID-19, unawain po natin na para ito sa kabutihan ng nakakarami. This too shall pass so let us remain calm and resilient.
Mabuhay po ang ating bansa!