CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Mayor Oscar Moreno maintained his stand that the city need not be placed under enhanced community quarantine despite appeals from barangay officials for its implementation.
Moreno, in a letter released on May 5, explained that it is only higher government bodies that could decide on the declaration of ECQ, which was made by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID)
Earlier, 26 barangay chairpersons sent Moreno a petition to place the city under ECQ out of concern that the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) might spread over the city.
A similar petition was also made by physicians in this city.
But Moreno said the shift from the city’s current general quarantine status to ECQ “will not, by itself, guarantee people’s complicity to the required health protocols.”
“It is thus a matter of giving teeth to the guidelines and in truly performing our respective tasks, regardless of our personal preferences. As front-liners in the fight against COVID-19, there is so much that is expected from us,” he added.
To date, there have been only four confirmed Covid-19 cases in Cagayan de Oro, although one of the patients died in Davao City, and one patient has recovered.
Moreno also replied to the query from barangay leaders on the status of the P300 million calamity fund and P500 million supplemental budget recently approved by the city council to address the pandemic.
“It has been insinuated that this representation is not poised to disburse it at all. The fact is the City Government has already disbursed 30% of the Calamity Fund as Quick Response Fund pursuant to Republic Act No. 1012, amounting to P90 million,” he said.
The mayor said the city government has already disbursed P159 million through food aid and relief to the affected residents, the establishment of quarantine and isolation centers, as well as purchases of needed medical and protective equipment.
“We generated the extra P69 million from the saving of the various offices under my office. We are poised to disburse more, not only for the items already enumerated, but as well as the hazard pay to our front-liners in all levels of the City Government, down to its barangays,” he said.
Moreno said the modification of quarantine protocol which is expected to ease more this month “should not be taken mean that we stand-down or loosen-up the protocols under GCQ. Given the ‘new normal’ that goes along with easing-up, there is more reason to continue our vigilance.” (davaotoday.com)