Locsin to hotels backing out as quarantine sites: Duterte has power to seize | Inquirer News
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Locsin to hotels backing out as quarantine sites: Duterte has power to seize

/ 07:26 PM March 31, 2020

Locsin to hotels backing out as OFWs quarantine sites: Duterte has power to seize

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. on Tuesday issued a firm reminder to hotels backing out as quarantine sites for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs): President Rodrigo Duterte “has the power to seize.”

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In a tweet, Locsin bared that some 500 seafarers are set to return home Wednesday due to the COVID-19 pandemic but one of the hotels that committed to being the OFWs’ quarantine sites has backed out.

“The President has the power to seize any hotel. That power must be invoked,” Locsin wrote.

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“I don’t want our seafarers to sleep in the streets. They’ve had a hard life. Please I appeal to the hotels. Please take them in. Quarantine will accredit the hotels. We are all in this together,” Locsin said in another tweet.

The country’s top diplomat was referring to Duterte’s additional power that he acquired through the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

But in his first weekly report to Congress, the President said he “reserved the two powers that have the gravest potential impact on the private sector, if done without utmost care.”

READ: Duterte delegates special powers to gov’t execs except for two crucial tasks 

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“One is the power to direct the operation of the specified private establishments or to take over their operations in very specific conditions,” Duterte said in his report.

“The other is the power to require businesses to prioritize contracts for materials and services necessary for this crisis. The president will exercise these powers only when absolutely necessary,” he added.

The same report revealed that the Department of Foreign Affairs is expected to lead the repatriation of at least 4,600 overseas Filipinos in the coming weeks amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has so far affected over 200 countries worldwide.

READ: Over 4K overseas Filipinos to go home in next 2 weeks amid COVID-19 crisis

To date, there are 368 Filipinos abroad infected by the respiratory disease, nine of whom have died.

In the Philippines, there were 2,084 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday with 88 deaths 49 recoveries.

Globally, the virus already infected more than 785,800 people and killed more than 37,800 as of March 31.

KGA

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