Duterte to LGUs: Abide by directives of national gov't

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte gave his order to all concerned local government units (LGUs) to abide on the guidelines set for the implementation of ‘Enhanced Community Quarantine’ in the entirety of Luzon.
Duterte to LGUs: Abide by directives of national gov't

In a video message streamed online early Friday, Duterte appealed to LGUs not to make this quarantine scenario more difficult in this trying times amid the threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

PROFILE: Philippines' COVID-19 recoveries now at 8

"I'm really very sorry but I have to do it. Now I call the LGUs. The national government needs your help in this time. But I have to tell you, do not make this quarantine more difficult for our people than it already is. LGUs should take note of this: that at this time, let us make ourselves clear that we are not separate from a republic or from each other," the president said.

"There is only one republic here, the Republic of the Philippines, and therefore you should abide by the directives of the national government," he added.

Duterte called out LGUs that implemented its own policies different from those set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

"If you go beyond the standards that we have set, you are abusing your authority," Duterte said.

"When the (IATF) says do not restrict the cargo of whatever type, then no LGU should say they only... allow food or essential goods to come in. You are already setting your standards and making this quarantine more difficult for all," he said.

The Department of Trade and Industry assured that vehicles transporting all essential goods will be allowed to move.

Duterte also ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Justice to study possible charges against LGUs who will not comply.

"I am therefore directing the DILG and the DOJ to closely monitor the compliance of LGUs in the directives of the office and to file the necessary cases against the wayward officials," the chief executive said.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier reminded local officials that they may face administrative and criminal charges should they go against the guidelines set by the national government.

Meanwhile, the Palace did not approve Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto's request to allow tricycles to continue operating to transport essential workers and people who need to go to hospitals.

Duterte placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine Tuesday to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country. As of Thursday, the country reported 217 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 17 fatalities, while 8 patients have recovered.

— The Summit Express

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