Davao City Council to lay down new rules on Food and Medicine passes

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 05 December) — The City Council will pass an ordinance that will lay down the new rules on the implementation of the Food and Medicine (FM) pass here, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

Addressing the public over the city-run Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Friday, the mayor said  “there will be no executive order for FM pass anymore” but an ordinance from the City Council.

Executive Order 62 issued on November 13 re-imposed the mandatory use of FM passes after seeing a sharp increase in new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

Police officers check the identification cards of motorists passing through the checkpoint at the Talomo district in Davao City on Monday, 16 November 2020. Effective 17 November 2020, the use of Food and Medicine passes was reimposed by Mayor Sara Duterte due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.  MIndaNews photo by GREGORIO C. BUENO

The EO provides for additional restrictions to limit the movement of people to accessing goods and services, for work in the offices, or industries and other allowed activities due to the “persistent disregard of many individuals to abide by the quarantine guidelines of the modified general community quarantine.

The order said the FM pass would be used to buy food or medicines from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily except Sundays.

Passes with last digits of 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 may be used on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while those with last digits 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Names of two individuals can be indicated on the pass, but only one named person may use it at a time, and holders must present a valid ID to establishments, it said.

Duterte added that the FM pass and Safe Davao QR (DQR) code must be presented together when buying food and medicines at establishments.

She claimed that Dabawenyos are 97% compliant with the DQR system since December 1, although the use of DQR is not yet mandated.

Issued on November 3, Executive Order No. 60 provides that the DQR will be used as  a pass for entry into and travel inside the city for goods and accessing essential services or work/business only, as a pass in law enforcement checkpoints and barangay patrols implementing the prohibition on non-essential travel, and as a contact tracing log on non-essential travel.

It said that all individuals, including non-residents of the city, will be required to register online for a one-time, permanent, and unique DQR code, citing the need to “limit the movement of people in Davao City to accessing essential goods and services or for work/business only, in keeping with the purpose of a community quarantine.”

“There is a need to institutionalize the Safe Davao QR (DQR) to implement contactless data gathering and electronic storage of data,” it said.

As of December 4, the Davao region recorded 9,646 cases: Davao City, 6,818; Davao de Oro, 462; Davao del Norte, 1,086, Davao del Sur, 712, Davao Occidental, 118 and Davao Oriental, 450.

The entire region has 2,524 active cases, 6,748 recoveries, and 374 deaths.

Out of the 6,818 cases in Davao City, 2,029 are active, 4,485 are recoveries, and 304 are deaths. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)