Five weeks into the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) over the whole of Luzon, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, in his April 16 media briefing, reminded the mayors and governors of local government units (LGUs) to follow the President’s order of strictly enforcing the ECQ in their own respective localities.
“Panawagan po ng Presidente sa lahat ng Mayor, sa lahat ng Barangay Captains, ipatupad nyo po ang ECQ sa inyong mga LGUs. May kapangyarihan po ang Presidente na parusahan ang mga Mayor at ang mga Barangay Captain na nagiging pabaya sa ganitong katungkulan,” said Sec. Roque.
The Palace official also reminded LGU leaders that Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act, penalizes failure to abide by the ECQ, as well as failure to properly impose it at the LGU level.
Similarly, the Presidential Spokesperson sternly reminded Filipinos to abide and strictly follow the ECQ protocols in place. He emphasized that staying inside homes and following social distancing measures are the only way we can help flatten the curve or the spread of COVID-19.
“Nakakalungkot po na bagama’t tayo’y nag extend ng ECQ ay hindi pa rin natin nafa-flatten ang curve. Kaya nga po paulit-ulit nating sinasabi, kinakailangan lahat tayo maging “homeliners”, wala na pong ibang pamamaraan para mapabagal ang pagkalat ng sakit na ito kung hindi po sa pamamagitan ng ECQ at ng social distancing,” the Spokesman stressed.
Related to this, the Philippines topped the list of ASEAN countries with the most number of COVID-19 cases, which Secretary Roque said that such fact cannot be denied. That is is why the first thing that the government continues to do is to call on its citizens to follow ECQ protocols.
Meanwhile, Secretary Roque cited government’s efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 to the poor and vulnerable. These include P65-B worth of Social Amelioration Program given to 1, 228 LGUs; P206-M Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantages/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) given to 118, 086 workers in the informal sector, P840-M COVID 19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) given to 167,941 workers in the formal sector. On the transport sector, 15,854 public utility vehicle drivers have already received cash assistance.
Government employees can also avail themselves of P20,000 emergency loan from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), while those in the private sector can avail of P20,000 calamity loan. PAG-IBIG Fund members, on the other hand hand, can get a three-month moratorium from their loans.
In the same media briefing, the Presidential Spokesperson called on the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and its armed component on the ground, the New People’s Army, to not intervene in the government’s efforts in response to COVID-19.
“Hayaan muna natin na makarating ang tulong ng gobyerno sa lahat ng mga nangangailangan ng tulong,” Roque said.
Roque made the remark in response to issues surrounding the distribution of the Special Amelioration Program by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
According to the Palace Spokesperson, reports have come to their attention that some government personnel are having a hard time getting into certain areas controlled by the NPA. ### OPS/PCOO