Davao City suspends ‘FM pass’ requisite to access goods and services

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 March) — The City Government of Davao suspended the implementation of food and medicine (FM) passes effective Monday, four months after the local government ordered its reimposition amid the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In her live program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Mayor Sara Duterte said that individuals only need to present their Safe Davao QR or DQR codes to gain entry to establishments to access essential goods and services.

The suspension of the FM passes was contained in Executive Order 12 released today, March 15.

The new order relaxed further the COVID-19 protocols in the city.

It permits public markets to open on Sundays and allowed vendors to sell from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m., just like any other public market days.

On November 13, 2020, the local government reimposed the use of FM passes. The FM pass ordinance, which penalizes persons who will tamper or forge the pass, was subsequently approved on December 15.

The order provides that any person below 15 years old, those who are 65 years old and above, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity or other health risks, and pregnant women, including any person who resides with the aforementioned, will be required to remain in their residences at all times, except for obtaining goods and essential services; work or business in permitted industries and offices; attending essential meetings and social events; conducting non-contact sports and exercise, and essential travel including attending burial, going to the doctor and other equally important activities.

The staging of parades, motorcades and rallies have been prohibited, except for exercise of free speech and expression in freedom parks, which is limited to 25 individuals and must be under the supervision of the police and the City Health Office to ensure that the minimum public health standards would be strictly observed.

As of March 14, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region reported nine new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 20,645, with 1,062 active, 18,703 recoveries and 880 deaths in the region.

Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 13,392 cases, with 559 active, 12,184 recoveries and 649 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,227 cases, Davao del Norte with 3,144, Davao del Sur with 1,387, Davao Occidental with 220 and Davao Oriental with 1,275.