Mar 23, 2020

“Mahiya kayo sa mga balat ninyo. Sisiguraduhin ko na makukulong ang mga abusadong ‘yan na nakuha pang manloko ng mga kababayan nila sa panahon ng krisis na tulad nito. You are expected to help your people not cause them more suffering.” 

That is what Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said to abusive local government officials in a statement addressing reports of quarantine passes being sold for a certain fee before being issued to residents.

On the afternoon of Mar. 22, the chairman of Brgy. Mantapoli in Marantao, Lanao del Sur, Caesar Abinal, was arrested after cops received a complaint via text about him charging residents P20 for their quarantine passes.

Upon verifying the report, police found a bond paper blatantly posted on the wall of the barangay hall stating the P20 fee for the pass.

Netizens have also voiced out their complaints through social media about reportedly getting charged for their quarantine passes by their respective barangays. Photos of receipts said to be issued for the passes circulating also showed residents paying amounts starting from P20 at the lowest.

After receiving reports from residents on social media, the office of Taguig City swiftly released a statement saying, “Let it be clear that Mayor Lino Cayetano ordered that NO FEES shall be imposed by the barangays on those who need passes like medical and emergency workers because they are essential workers. He has called the attention of the barangay to immediately stop said collection.”

As the Department of Interior and Local Government has repeated over and over again, all quarantine passes are distributed for free after it was announced as a move to contain the spread of COVID-19.

In line with this, Año asked the public to report local government officials who impose payments for quarantine passes through the DILG Emergency Operations Center hotlines (02) 8876-3454 local 8806/8810.

Once proven guilty, administrative sanctions will be filed against the officials no matter what their positions are—from barangay kagawad to chairmen and even governors.

With the implementation of quarantine pass usage, those authorized to go out—especially to buy food and other necessities—are limited. As a further effort to ensure social distancing, only one person per household is allowed to go out from their homes at a time.

Previously, the cities of Valenzuela, Pasig and Marikina have noted that they will not be imposing the usage of home quarantine passes within their jurisdiction.

According to Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, the city does not need a quarantine pass as exemptions are very clear, and thus the non-implementation of this measure as “it is subject to abuse and not in the guidelines.”

Pasig City’s Mayor Vico Sotto also pointed out that this will only add to person-to-person contact and is  “subject for use and misuse.”

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Read more:

These LGUs are doing their best against COVID-19–the national government should take notes

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