MANILA - In a town south of Manila, curfew is round the clock.
Pagsanjan, a tourist town in Laguna province some 2 hours away from the Philippine capital, started enforcing Wednesday a 24-hour curfew after the national government ordered a Luzon-wide lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Ipinaiiral ang “curfew” mula Marso 18, 2020 12:01 ng umaga hanggang ipairal ang bagong kautusan na nagpapatigil dito,” Pagsanjan Mayor Peter Casius Trinidad said in an executive order issued Tuesday.
(This curfew takes effect from March 18, 2020, 12:01 a.m. until the issuance of a new order stopping this.)
Trinidad cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s order of an enhanced community quarantine in all of Luzon, which took effect beginning Tuesday, suspending public transport, school and work, except for frontline services and some exempted enterprises, barring public gatherings, and ordering the public to stay at home except to get food and basic services.
On his Facebook page, Trinidad reiterated the policy in a video-taped message posted Wednesday evening. "Ipinaiiral din po natin ang 24 na oras na curfew na mahigpit po nating ipinatutupad," he said
Other towns and cities in the country have enforced curfews from evening to dawn, but Pagsanjan’s version of the quarantine leaves no window hours.
“Ang curfew ay tatagal ng 24 oras at mahigpit na ipapatupad sa ating bayan kaya lahat ay inaatasan na manatili sa kani-kanilang tahanan habang umiiral ang community quarantine,” read the mayor’s Kautusan ng Nakakataas Bilang 035.
(The curfew will last for 24 hours and will be strictly enforced in our town so everyone is ordered to stay in your homes while the quarantine is in effect.)
Checkpoints have been placed on four border points around the town of around 45,000 residents who are not allowed to leave, said town Councilor Nat Bernales.
Some residents reported having no problem going out to buy food.
Adopting guidelines issued by the national government, the town permits residents to go out only to buy food: one member of every household will be granted outside access and must present an ID.
Residents may hire “service tricycles,” among primary means of transport in town, but only for their errand and not for public conveyance.
Barangay officials were also empowered to arrest violators.
Pagsanjan, which is home to the popular Pagsanjan Falls, has a P2.37-million quick response fund for the COVID-19 prevention effort, and the municipal council has just approved P2.8 million in additional funding.
The town, as of Wednesday, has not reported any confirmed case of the disease.
Elsewhere in the country, 202 COVID-19 cases have been recorded, of which, 17 resulted in deaths while seven have recovered.