The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will be recommending a total lockdown of the National Capital Region (NCR) in order to effectively contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the DILG’s spokesperson said on Monday.
“The DILG is recommending a lockdown. But that is subject to the approval of the IATF (inter-agency task force) and ultimately by the President,” Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.
“Up to now, our position has not changed. The position is a lockdown,” said Malaya.
Malaya said the IATF will also review the current protocols in place for Metro Manila’s community quarantine, that caused grave inconvenience to the commuters on the first day of implementation.
Among the issues to be discussed in Monday’s task force meeting is the entry exemption policy for workers and employees.
“Unfortunately some of our countrymen, residents of Metro Manila still do not understand the gravity of this situation. Given that we’re having a nightmare now in the checkpoints, definitely, a reassessment is in order,” Malaya said.
Malaya said that the DILG has previously recommended for the region’s lockdown.
However, they were overruled by the majority who wanted to implement a community quarantine. He also welcomed the possibility of more “drastic measures” to be included in the safety protocols for citizens amid the rapid spread of the infectious disease.
For its part, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is now considering a total ban on public transportation while a community quarantine is placed over the NCR.
Transportation Spokesperson Goddes Libiran said the DOTr, along with other members of the inter-agency task force (IATF), will discuss the possibility of a total ban on public transportation this Monday afternoon.
“Isa ‘yan sa mga pinag-aaralan ngayon in coordination with concerned agencies. Napakaraming kasing pasaway, matigas ang ulo, pilosopo, at makasarili,” she said.
“Sabi nga ni Secretary Tugade, DOTr, at this time, is not in this to arrange or assure mobility. We are here to encourage people to stay at home. This is temporary and they should understand this. Buhay ang nakatayo dito!” she said./Stacy Ang