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Davao City, Philippines

Davao City prepares for Luzon reopening

April 08, 2020 - Wednesday 6:04 PM by Funny Pearl A. Gajunera

Article Banner Image REMINDER. A masked military officer uses a megaphone to remind market-goers in Bankerohan Public Market, Davao City to follow COVID-19 safety measures. The city government is bracing itself for the influx of people when Luzon emerges from its lockdown on April 30, 2020. ARJOY M. CENIZA

DAVAO CITY — The city government is bracing itself for the influx of people when Luzon emerges from its lockdown on April 30, 2020.

In her regular interview with Davao City Disaster Radio, Mayor Sara Duterte welcomed the extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon because it gives the city more time to prepare for the arrival of people.

The Luzon ECQ had been scheduled to end on April 12, but Malacañang on Wednesday officially released a memorandum from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea extending it to 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020.

PACKED. The Bankerohan Public Market in Davao City is still packed with people buying food and other necessities amid the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to COVID-19 in the city. ARJOY M. CENIZA

Sara said the extension will “buy the city some time” to prepare for the opening of sea, land, and air travel from Metro Manila.

“The problem with opening air travel is the influx of people coming from Luzon going here in Davao City,” she said, adding this could bring the coronavirus to the city.

She said the city needs to prepare for any eventuality once the Luzon ECQ is lifted.

“That is what we are preparing for. We are getting ready for that,” she said.

Stay home
Explaining the reason for the Luzon ECQ extension, Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte had realized this, along with corresponding protocols such as staying home and observing stringent social distancing measures, “may prevent the spread of the virus.”

“Please stay at home and let us help one another and let us pray together and do everything we can to prevail over this national and global crisis,” Panelo said in a statement.

“Our nation’s survival really depends on how each one of us will be helping each other to protect one another from being infected by this deadly disease,” he added.

Panelo also acknowledged the contribution of private entities and individuals who are doing their own share in the fight against COVID-19.

LARGE-SCALE SANITATION. A Davao City Central 911 member uses a fire hose to disinfect the road in SIR Matina, Davao City to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the area. ARJOY M. CENIZA

These efforts include augmentation of the supply of more personal protective equipment (PPEs) for healthcare and frontline workers. 

At the same time, Panelo asked people to refrain from spreading fake news, including social media materials that twist or slant the President’s words without putting in perspective the premise and the full context of the statements.

He said the President is calling on everyone to cooperate and set aside politicking at this time of crisis, pointing to those who he said “are taking advantage of the situation in order to destabilize the elected government through inciting hate and aggression among the people.”

“We help one another, kailangan po talaga nating magtulungan,” he said.