Travelers within Davao Region should not be restricted – Mayor Sara

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 May) – The local government units should not restrict the movement of vehicles within Davao Region under the general community quarantine (GCQ), Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said.

A checkpoint in Davao City. MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Duterte made this statement over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday after receiving complaints that some workers from Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental who are traveling to Davao City for work are being subjected to a 14-day quarantine requirement before granting them passage to Davao del Norte.

“That’s what I’ve been saying, for those of you who are ranting on Facebook, Sirs and Ma’ams, you should have prepared for this during the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) because movement between GCQ areas would be allowed,” she said, apparently intended to officials of LGUs in neighboring areas.

Citing Section 7.3 of the Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of the Community Quarantine in the Philippines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, interzonal movement of persons between areas placed under GCQ and modified GCQ for any purposes other than leisure shall be permitted.

“Is employment leisure? It’s not, so they are allowed to move. There is a confusion on your part that you need to resolve,” she said.

The entire Davao Region, including Davao City, which reported the most number of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Mindanao, shifted to a GCQ last May 16 until May 31 from enhanced community quarantine, after being allowed by the task force.

Duterte said subjecting the workers to a 14-day quarantine even though they are just passing through the province to work in Davao City was “unreasonable.”

“It’s unreasonable that those who are just passing through your area to return to work [in Davao City] and are not even working in your area will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine. I don’t think it’s right preparation,” she said.

The mayor added that the LGUs should have instead opted for extension of ECQ implementation if they want to restrict the movement to and fro their areas.

She added that people are under the impression that regulating the movement of vehicles going in and out of their areas could give them protection from the infection.

“It’s not. What will protect you is your preparation, you prepare your prevention measures, your prepare for your detection, especially surveillance, and you prepare the testing, so you need to look for people in your areas for testing because they manifest the symptoms of COVID-19. You prepare the treatments in your hospital and their reintegration once they return,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)