Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary for Barangay Operations Martin Diño strongly pushed Wednesday for a total lockdown of barangays whose residents remain stubborn and have continuously violated the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) policies.
“Ang rekomendasyon ko sa DILG na talagang total lockdown na… at saka itong mga malalaking barangay, ito ‘yung maraming pasaway eh,” Diño said in an interview.
Diño emphasized that his recommendation will prohibit residents from even roaming the streets without thee authorized identification cards (ID).
He noted that the barangay chairman and officials and authorized barangay personnel should wear their IDs while performing their public service tasks.
Defending his call, Diño observed that many residents went out on the streets again after the observance of Holy Week.
He noted that it is likely that authorities could have been negligent in securing the barangays and manning the checkpoints.
Diño stressed that vehicular traffic started to increase especially in areas leading to the marketplaces, supermarkets and the like.
In the case of Blumentritt Market in Manila, Diño said that initially social distancing was enforced where people lined-up and got in and out only at the designated entry and exit points.
However based on video reports, Diño noticed that the place turned chaotic as the people went in and out of the vending area unimpeded “ibig sabihin lumuwag ang pagbabantay sa barangay.”
He assured that the most severe sanctions will be imposed against negligent and non-performing local government officials who fail to judiciously and strictly enforce the ECQ mandated policies in their respective turfs.
Stressing the severity of violating Republic Act 11469, Diño cited local government officials who are ECQ violators may be imprisoned up to two months and may be fined from P10,000 to P1 million.
He added that “perpetual disqualification’’ from running for any public office awaits the erring local government officials.
Diño assured that the DILG will never go tired of issuing show cause orders against non-performing, corrupt and negligent governors, mayors and barangay officials in the midst of the quarantine period. (Chito A. Chavez)