Lino Cayetano puts Taguig on lockdown due to COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano is placing the city on lockdown beginning today, Wednesday, to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Movement of people will be limited to accessing basic necessities under the enhanced community quarantine of the whole of Luzon ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, according to Cayetano.
Beginning at 12 a.m. Wednesday, all residents are required to stay inside their homes and those found loitering on streets would be asked to go home.
“All who resist instructions to go home shall be subject to legal sanctions,” according to the mayor’s guidelines.
Cayetano assured that the city government would take care of the essential needs of the families of Covid-19 patients, as well as those under investigation or monitoring for possible infection.
As of Tuesday, the city has confirmed one case.
Under the lockdown, establishments are ordered closed down, except supermarkets, convenience stores, medical facilities, and banks, among others.
Work from home
All businesses are enjoined to implement work from home arrangements. For establishments that need to remain open, the management is tasked to provide transportation for their workers, provided that only 50 percent of the vehicle’s capacity is maintained.
The city government asked the senior residents, who are considered vulnerable to COVID-19, to stay at home and designate only one person to go out for needed supplies.
The local government will continue to distribute anti-COVID-19 kits to more than 68,000 senior citizens.
In consideration of health workers’ need to go to medical institutions, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto allowed tricycles to operate in the city amid a Metro-wide transportation lockdown.
“We’re using our vehicles but it’s not enough. Our risk assessment shows that we can’t ban tricycles at this point,” Sotto said.
In Quezon City, Mayor Joy Belmonte has signed a “pledge of cooperation” with mall operators who agreed to stop its services except for those offered by “essential establishments” from Monday, March 16 to April 14.
Belmonte said malls also committed to guaranteeing that essential establishments strictly adhere to the city’s public safety hours 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Malls in the city should open not earlier than 7 a.m. and close not later than 7 p.m.
But while “essential’’ establishments continued to operate, including health clinics, diagnostic centers, drugstores, supermarkets, groceries, banks, remittance centers, and money changers, commuting woes hounded some employees who were still required to go to work on Tuesday.
Geramaica Dela Cruz, a 22-year-old bank teller in Pasig City, had to walk for an hour from her workplace on Monday night when President Duterte announced an enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. Before the transportation lockdown, Dela Cruz said her workplace is only a 10-minute jeepney ride from home.
“I also felt afraid walking alone in the streets, but I thought it’s more dangerous to force myself inside a crowded jeep, because there’s a high chance that I can contract the virus,” she said.
To soften the socioeconomic impact of the Luzon quarantine, the Manila city government has allocated P60-million financial assistance for its regular and contractual employees.
Three other city ordinances — the temporary closure of malls, anti-hoarding, and anti spitting — were also passed by the Manila City Council in response to the ongoing public health emergency in the country.
—With a report from Nikka G. Valenzuela
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