CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Fifty barangay chairpersons allied with Mayor Oscar Moreno issued a manifesto supporting his stand not to put the city under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Their manifesto comes as a reaction to a petition submitted by 26 other barangay chairpersons in the city urging the mayor to declare an ECQ as the number of Covid-19 cases has reached seven.

But Marlo Tabac, Barangay Gusa Chairman and also vice president of the city’s Association of Barangay Council (ABC), said they respect the concern of the other barangay leaders but said health measures can be implemented without placing the ECQ in the city.

“With ECQ, there are so many guidelines to follow but not everything in it is applicable to the barangays,” he said.

The manifesto said the function of the village chairpersons is not easy as enforcers of new Covid-19-related government policies such as the implementation of social distancing, stay-at-home, and house-to-house health surveillance in their localities.

“As frontliners we are risking our lives to make sure that the virus will not spread,” the statement said.

Tabac provided reporters a copy of their manifesto which was signed by 50 leaders out of the 80 members of the local ABC chapter.

Because of the important role the barangays will play in the fight against Covid-19, the majority of the ABC members said all the village officials must unite to defeat the public health crisis.

Tabac said the ABC will be convened to come up with a collective decision regarding their stand on the issue.

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