April 01, 2020 - Wednesday
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Davao City, Philippines

Sara suspends issuance of barangay quarantine passes

March 25, 2020 - Wednesday 6:03 PM by Funny Pearl A. Gajunera

Article Banner Image INFO DRIVE. Using megaphones and bicycles, Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Bike Patrol members roam around Barangay 8-A in Madapo Hills to inform the public about the importance of staying home during the implementation of the Community Quarantine. ARJOY M. CENIZA

DAVAO CITY — Mayor Sara Duterte on Wednesday suspended the implementation of quarantine passes by different barangays, saying the city is not yet under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

“The quarantine pass is not a city government-initiated activity. It is the barangays that initiated it to ensure that the public will stay at home,” the mayor said in a live interview with city government-owned radio station 87.5 Davao City Disaster Radio.

The mayor had initially said barangays are allowed to issue quarantine passes to residents if the leaders feel it is necessary in order to make sure people stay home.

Several barangays have issued passes already, allowing only one member of each household to leave the home to buy food.

The matter, however, has become contentious and confusing.

There have been reports that social distancing is not being observed in the availment of the passes as residents are being required to gather together in one place instead of the passes being delivered to their homes.

Sara said with the city not being in ECQ yet, people can still go to work if they are among the exemptions in the provisions of Executive Order No. 20-A which was released on Wednesday.

STAY INSIDE. Starting today, March 26, 2020, senior citizens and pregnant women in the city are only allowed to go outside their homes during medical emergencies. ARJOY M. CENIZA

Under the new EO, all establishments and offices must close except government offices, groceries, supermarkets, wet markets/palengkes, food commissaries, food manufacturing, food delivery services, wholesale stores, convenience stores, sari-sari stores, hospitals, medical laboratories, pharmacies, drugstores, banks and ATMs, savings and credit cooperatives, money-transfer services and bayad centers, courier services, other delivery services, construction hardware, doctor's and dentist clinics, gas stations, water refilling stations, LPG stations, business process outsourcing/call centers.

“We are not issuing passes because we have people who work, unlike other places where work has been canceled,” she said, referring to Luzon which is under ECQ.

She said when the city gets to the point of being under ECQ, then the city government will give the order to issue quarantine passes in all barangays to avoid confusion.

“We appreciate the effort of our barangay captains,” she said, pointing out that some barangay officials even man checkpoints themselves and tell their constituents to stay home.

“But if different barangays implement passes, it doesn’t work anymore. They have different rules. So stop your quarantine passes and wait for the city government to implement it,” Sara said.

SUSPENDED. Quarantine passes like this one from Barangay Bago Gallera in Davao City have been suspended by Mayor Sara Duterte. SK BARANGAY BAGO GALLERA FACEBOOK PAGE

The mayor said the city is implementing almost all restrictions under ECQ except for the following:

  • All offices in the Executive Department are closed except for the police, military, and health agencies;

  • Cancellation of mass transport; and

  • Suspension of all work in the private sector except for the food and health sectors.

“We are not yet under ECQ so we do not need to implement the quarantine pass yet,” she said.

Additional guidelines

This developed as the mayor provided additional guidelines to the implementation of community quarantine beginning 5 a.m. today (Thursday, March 26) until 11:59 p.m. on April 19.

Some of the new guidelines under EO 20-A are the following:

  • Face masks are mandatory when going out in public. Face masks with face shield are encouraged;

  • Private hospitals shall ensure support to SPMC by conducting the following:

    • a) All private hospitals in Davao City are not allowed to admit PUIs and COVID-19 positive patients;

    • b) Private hospitals must admit 10% or more indigent patients to decongest SPMC and allow space therein; 

    • c) Private hospitals must cease and desist from referring non-PUI/COVID-19 patients to SPMC;

    • d) Private hospitals should not refuse admission to non-PUI/COVID-19 patients; 

    • e) Private birthing facilities must cater to indigent normal spontaneous delivery patients;

For health workers, the EO says they must not deviate from their residence-workplace route since they are considered persons under monitoring PUM).

Whenever possible in the residence, they must be isolated and be given reprieve from household work, the EO adds.

A copy of Executive Order No. 20-A is available at the Facebook page of the City Government of Davao.