The government’s COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has made it clear: Local government units (LGU) should not impose window hours or require a quarantine pass for people heading out to buy food.
In a press conference held yesterday, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said that he is advising all LGUs to lift the window hours for marketing and buying goods. According to him, the measure can be detrimental to authorities’ efforts to enforce social distancing guidelines, as it will group more people together.
“I’m advising all LGUs to lift the window hours for marketing or buying because kapag naglagay ka ng window hours, kinukumpol kumpol mo lang yung mga tao lalo. So it should be 12 hours, and observe strictly the social distancing,” he stressed.
What’s more, Año added that there is no “hard rule” regarding quarantine passes, and requiring people to pick up their passes at the barangay isn’t advisable for the same reason window hours aren’t.
“Yung barangay quarantine pass, there is no hard rule. Meron LGU na nag issue and meron rin hindi. As long as nako-control nila yung movement ng kanilang constituents,” the official explained. “This is a good control measure, actually, pero kung ito naman ay magfo-force sa mga tao na pipila at pupunta doon sa barangay, hindi rin ito advisable.”
Año added that it will be better if LGUs deliver quarantine passes to the homes of constituents, but stressed people are permitted to leave their homes to buy goods with or without one.
“May ibang LGUs na ihinahatid yung quarantine pass sa bawat bahay—okay yun sapagkat hindi na nagkakaroon ng reason for people to get out. But with or without quarantine pass, ang tao ay dapat payagan bumili ng pagkain kapag siya ang representative ng pamilya para sa pagkuha ng pagkain.”
Have LGUs been making it difficult for you to drive out and buy food? Let us know in the comments.