A report circulating in Dinagat islands that the province is going to be placed under lockdown is fake news.
The Facebook page of Dinagat Islands Provincial Information Office (PIO) first flagged the circulating fake report on January 9 and repeated it on January 15.
“Kagaya ng nabanggit na namin noon, HINDI TOTOO na magkakaroon ng lockdown sa Dinagat Islands sa susunod na mga araw. FAKE NEWS po ito,” the PIO posted. https://www.facebook.com/profile/100068139229416/search/?q=lockdown
(As we already stated before, it’s not true that Dinagat Islands will be placed under lockdown in the next few days. That is fake news.)
Jeff Crisostomo, provincial information officer, stated in Visayan language that Gov. Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao and the provincial government are focusing their efforts in relief operations and the recovery of the island, which was devastated by typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) last month.
While the provincial government is cognizant of the threats of COVID-19, there is an urgent need to restore the shelter of the residents and for them not to go hungry, he noted.
Certain quarters are spreading the fake news that Dinagat Islands will be locked down in a bid to hamper the smooth flow of relief operations and recovery initiatives for the typhoon-devastated province, he added.
One Facebook user commented on the thread:
“Gov Kaka ajaw intawon i lockdown kalooy mga tawo waya pay maajong katologan. Give them kakababayan makabangon . God bless everyone.”
(Gov. Kaka, do not resort to lockdown, have pity on the people who still have no comfortable spaces to sleep. Give the people the chance to rise from this adversity.)
Another one wrote:
“Khit s panahon ng hirap n nranasan my mga tao tlagang wlang mgawa s buhay, mhilig mgpakalat ng fakenews.”
(Even if many people are reeling in this very difficult time, there are indifferent folk who take delight in spreading fake news.)
According to the PIO, it will immediately inform the public if there are changes to the province’s COVID-19 protocols, including travel restrictions.
Based on Resolution No. 157-A issued on January 13 by the national Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease, Dinagat Islands is under Alert Level 2 effective January 16 to 31, 2022.
Under Alert Level 2, intrazonal and interzonal travel shall be allowed subject to the reasonable restrictions based on age and co-morbidities, as may be determined by the local government units, which should not be stricter as those prescribed under higher alert levels and subject to the oversight, monitoring, and evaluation of their respective RIATF (Regional Inter-Agency Task Force).
For the dos and don’ts of the different COVID-19 alert levels, please follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/mindanews/posts/6897218760319392
(Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)
(This fact-check piece was produced with the support of Internews’ Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator Project.)