Public discipline 'most important' factor in lockdown lifting, says Año
MANILA - The Department of the Interior and Local Government warned Friday authorities could make "many arrests" if people continue to violate a lockdown in the Philippines' most populous island and several regions to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Additional policemen will be deployed to guard checkpoints and crack down on illegal cockfighting matches, gambling and other lockdown breaches, said DILG Secretary Eduardo Año.
"Sigurado marami tayong aarestuhin," he told DZMM.
(We will surely arrest many people.)
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday ordered the military and police to prepare for taking over the lockdown measures following incidents of its violation in Luzon, home about half of the Philippines' 100 million people.
"Sa ngayon naman kayang-kaya pa natin... Tingnan natin ngayong mga susunod na mga araw," Año said of Duterte's directive.
(We are on top of the situation. Let's see in the next days.)
Soldiers and policemen earlier this week had to control shoppers who flocked to the Balintawak Market in Quezon City, he said.
The lifting of the lockdown rests on the number of COVID-19 cases, the capacity of health facilities, the economy, whether or not law enforcers can implement modified community quarantine, and the "social factor" or public discipline, he said.
After the lockdown, the public should continue to wear masks in public places, stay at home if they have no necessary appointments, and practice physical distancing and proper hygiene.
"Ang pinakaimportante sa tingin ko ay iyong social factor," said Año.
(I think the sociall factor is the most important.)
"Kung sakaling magluluwag na tayo, iyong disiplina sa mga tao ang dapat naging habit or instinct na. For the whole 2020 hanggang wala pang bakuna, kakaharapin natin itong virus," he added.