League of Cities official seeks 'localized lockdowns' amid COVID-19 crisis

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 22 2020 01:39 AM

Members of the police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) patrol Blumentritt Street in Manila on April 21, 2020 to enforce social distancing measures under the enhanced community quarantine. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) on Tuesday suggested enforcing localized enhanced community quarantine to effectively rein in the spread of COVID-19.

"The view of the many mayors is that they are for a more localized enhanced community quarantine," LCP president Evelio Leonardia told DZMM radio.

"We feel that this is the more effective way to do this considering that the cities, per our check, 63 percent of these [COVID-19] cases are in the cities," he added.

To date, the Philippines has tallied 6,559 coronavirus infections, with 437 deaths and 654 recoveries. 

While he was grateful of the national government's provision of emergency subsidy to low-income families, the Bacolod City mayor expressed concerns if the lockdown is extended.

"If this is to continue for a longer period of time, it will really hurt our pockets. For one, people don't pay their taxes. This is double edge for us," Leonardia said.

"We have to make do with our resources. But it will be really difficult if this is going to go for a long haul," he added.

To boost the capacity of local government units in addressing the crisis, under the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act, cities and municipalities are given a one-time grant that is equivalent to one month of their Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).

Watch more in iWant or TFC.tv