DILG postpones barangay assemblies amid coronavirus threat
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has suspended the holding of barangay assemblies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said this follows the declaration of the state of public health emergency by President Rodrigo Duterte after the sudden spike of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, particularly in Metro Manila.
“While the holding of the barangay assembly day is important, we need to think of the greater good and ensure the general welfare of our people,” Año said in a statement on Wednesday.
Section 397 of the Local Government Code of 1991 mandates the holding of Barangay Assembly, a biannual meeting held on any Saturday or Sunday or March and October.
During this event, the barangay chairperson delivers the State-of-the-Barangay Address that highlights the accomplishments of his or her leadership as well as his or her plans and programs for the year.
Pressing problems of the village and its proposed solutions are also being discussed in these assemblies.
Before this, the DILG had earlier directed local government units in Metro Manila to suspend or postponed all mass gatherings to decrease the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Año also enjoined barangays in Metro Manila to activate their Local COVID-19 Task Forces (LCTFs) to help in monitoring and preventing the spread of the virus in their respective areas.
He said the LCTF will direct the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and Local City Health Office, upon receiving referrals from the DOH-Emergency Operations Center, to coordinate directly with and transport symptomatic persons to the nearest DOH referral facility for COVID-19 testing.
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