Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday warned individuals who refused to get tested despite being exposed to the coronavirus, saying they could be punished by law if they don’t cooperate with authorities.
While the government implements granular lockdowns in Metro Manila, Año said in his report to President Duterte that they have been receiving reports that many people refuse COVID-19 screening for fear of temporarily disrupting their works and thus lose their source of income.
This is dangerous, the interior chief said, because those who were exposed or had close contact with infected individuals may also get the virus and endanger their families and coworkers.
“Sa ganoon po at kung sakali mahawaan niya ang kanyang pamilya, mayroon pong mga hospital diyan at gagastos sila ng aabot sa milyon, at ang masama pa ay kung mamamatay ang mga ito, mas nakakatakot po,” he said.
“Mas matipid pa din at mas epektibo kung magpa-swab test sila. Anyway, magbibigay naman po ng assistance ang ating LGUs at DSWD.”
The aim of the government’s granular lockdown is to find people who may have the virus and isolate them, he said.
The interior secretary reminded the public that refusal to cooperate with the authorities is punishable under R.A. 11332. Violators could face a P50,000 fine and six-month jail time.
“Kaya kailangan po, pinapakiusapan natin ang ating mga kababayan, kung kayo po ay close contact or exposed, kailangan po tayong magpa-test. Otherwise po, mag-self quarantine tayo ng 14 days at huwag natin itong lalabagin,” Año said.
“Ito po ang paraan para matigil natin ang transmission at talagang tuluyang magapi natin ang pandemic.” PND