Last March 20 around 1 a.m. aired another press briefing from President Rodrigo Duterte. In the pre-recorded video, he instructed local government units (LGUs) “to stand down and just abide by the directives that the Interagency Task Force created.” The president follows this up by saying “sundin na lang natin tutal para naman ito sa lahat. Do not try to overdo things, or think that you can do what you want to do because that is not allowed.”
The whole speech practically contradicts his Mar. 16 briefing wherein he entrusted the management of cities to their respective mayors and leaders, which further adds up to our confusion about the lockdown and the line of command during the enhanced community lockdown.
Yet again, the president’s instruction is highly questionable and comes off mainly as shade to the commendable efforts of LGUs in addressing the specific needs of their areas.
We might not be able to include all but here are some cases in point:
Ito yung mga Sanitation Tent papasok ng CityHall, PCGH, at Child's Hope.
Ginagawa namin ang lahat ng makakaya para di magkulang ang supplies gaya ng mask.
May pribadong kompanya naman na magpapahiram ng mga kwarto para may pansamantalang matutuluyan ang mga exposed frontliners. pic.twitter.com/a8cjq0HQfB
— Vico Sotto (@VicoSotto) March 18, 2020
Mayor Vico Sotto has been all over the news lately and is probably even trending on Twitter right now because of his solutions to the problems of Pasig City amid this outbreak.
Sotto is probably the only mayor as of this writing who could assure that both regular and contractual workers will still be getting full salary payment amidst the quarantine. Aside from this, he has also repurposed bikes for frontliners and healthcare personnel, distributed medical supplies around the city, installed sanitation tents on the entrances of the city hall and government hospitals and even utilized drones to disinfect the city.
And just yesterday, following the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s rejection of Sotto’s request to allow tricycle service around Pasig, zero-emission Comet shuttles were rolled out. This just proves that the young Sotto’s a real champ for good governance and environmental consciousness.
Starbucks will be donating 6,500 sandwiches and pastries tomorrow for our frontliners in Manila.
Bayview Park Hotel also offered 15 rooms for our healthcare workers and frontliners for free.
Thank you po! Thank you Lord!!!
— Isko Moreno Domagoso (@IskoMoreno) March 18, 2020
In Manila, Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has been pretty consistent with his actions against the pandemic. Aside from ordering mass disinfecting and inspections, he has also reached out to various companies like Starbucks to provide food supply for medical frontliners. He also arranged free lodging in hotels for health workers.
Makati Mayor Abby Binay: “I’ve ordered the release of P2K initial financial assistance for the city’s 5,946 tricycle drivers. This covers the first 2 weeks of the community quarantine.” | @CGonzalesINQ https://t.co/7Ozwypbqao
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) March 18, 2020
A move equally worth noting is Mayor Abby Binay’s quick issuance of cash assistance to over 5,900 tricycles of Makati whose source of income will be affected by this pandemic. Funding tricycle drivers alone will cost the city P11.8 trillion but Binay is also working out an assistance package for jeepney drivers.
With Mayor Vico getting a lot of praise, I also just wanna share appreciation for our (perhaps lesser known) Mayor, Kit Nieto of Cainta. He disinfected entire villages so quickly, in addition to the great job he’s done even prior to the quarantine. Thank you Mayor ☺️ pic.twitter.com/2ShCxjgsFe
— Ian Pangilinan (@ianpangilinan_) March 18, 2020
Cainta Mayor Kit Nieto has reportedly been very proactive ever since news about the coronavirus broke out. Right from the outset of the first cases he has already ordered city-wide disinfecting and fumigation of the city and has already led massive aid drives for his constituents. Included in these drives are food stubs for the citizens of Cainta especially the homeless, free vitamins and medicine for senior citizens and milk rations for families with babies.
Another unit to be praised for their proactiveness is the local government of Casiguran, Sorsogon. In a video dated weeks before the pandemic broke out, we can see the LGU unit distributing hand sanitizers to schools and even orienting students on how to properly use it. These days they prove to be consistent as they ensure that each household in the municipality will have a weekly supply of rice, fish, noodles and even bread.
A significant weight might be lifted from the residents of Muntinlupa City who are having trouble coping with everything that’s been happening lately. Through its mental health program, their local government recently launched a virtual chat to help citizens who might be feeling distressed and anxious about the pandemic.
— igor (@_UnholyGrail) March 18, 2020
Mayor Menchie Abalos and the rest of Mandaluyong City officials are to be lauded for being very hands-on in looking out for the most vulnerable people in this pandemic. Abalos recently carried out a rescue operation for street dwellers around their city, providing them food and a place to stay until officials can trace their family members.
Marcy Teodoro will be doing a COVID19 mass testing starting monday. He will be using testing kits that was developed from UP-PGH and will prioritize those frontliners who are giving health care and safety in Marikina.
Kung kaya ng mayor namin, dapat kaya din ng iba ✊ pic.twitter.com/UmXeSQkA8z
— drea (@JUNMYE0NED) March 19, 2020
Marikina’s Marcy Teodoro facilitated the purchase of the city’s very own molecular laboratory for mass testing which will be operational starting Mar. 23. This is on top of providing free transportation services around Marikina.
Walang Postive na Covid case to date sa Valenzuela City
Pero we are prepared for anything that may come our way. DILG instructed us so we followed
We now have two Central Isolation Centers. Disinfected, Set Up and in a couple of hours Sealed.
Sana wag na magamit ang mga eto pic.twitter.com/YTKKwg2syJ
— Rex (@rex_gatchalian) March 18, 2020
Valenzuela City only has one confirmed case, which only surfaced yesterday, but Mayor Rex Gatchalian was prepared from the very start and has equipped the city with two massive central isolation centers, which both have disinfected modular tents. He has also ordered a wide-scale distribution of necessities in Valenzuela City’s barangays.
Im waiting for this person to reply who discredited Sarah's leadership just because he punched a disobedient sheriff.
Come to Davao and let's talk.
— John Partin (@JohnPartin17) March 20, 2020
This is why we feel really unsettled with the president’s recent orders for LGUs to basically just obey and not “overdo” it. His own daughter has been stepping it up in Davao City as well. Unlike most government officials in the palace, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio acknowledges that following strict social distancing measures will greatly affect drivers’ source of income so she decided to enroll them in the Department of Labor and Employment’s “Tupad Program,” which is set to give P11,880 to every jeepney driver.
Header photo courtesy of Inquirer.net
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Writer: JOY THERESE GOMEZ