CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – A group of private individuals, including doctors, has petitioned Mayor Oscar Moreno to put the entire city under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) following the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

A three-page petition, submitted and received by the mayor’s office Friday afternoon (April 3), was signed by about 40 individuals. It urged Moreno to “heed the call of the medical experts” as the public is already in a health crisis.

It said the city government has “the prime duty to ensure the welfare and health of its residents but also the bigger obligation under the present circumstances to declare a city-wide [ECQ] in order to protect and ensure the best interests of its residents and constituents.”

Since the COVID-19 cases are increasing and the trend will continue in the coming weeks and months, the group said the grave peril to the public well-being is very evident.

“We do not have adequate hospitals and medical facilities, equipment, personal protective equipment and gear, testing kits, and critically the needed human health resources to address a possible sudden surge of [Covid-19] cases in the city,” the group said.

Unless the city’s residents and the local government and its leadership do some drastic and timely measures, it added, “the little resources that our front liners have will very soon be worn out”.

‘No need for ECQ’

Moreno reiterated his stand that there is no need to declare an ECQ, during a press briefing Friday.

He clarified he’s not against ECQ but he’s concerned about its effects, especially the suspension of operation of public transport. He also sees it as discriminatory as the poor will be deprived of the right to travel from one place to another.

“It’s not as if you are the local chief executive you can do anything you want. You have to look at the total picture,” he said.

The local government cannot just declare an ECQ, he added, “without the guidance of the Department of Health. That’s in the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).”

Still, one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Moreno noted, is for the people to stay home. (

comments powered by Disqus