Local officials barred from declaring own lockdowns: DILG

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 24 2020 01:58 PM

A “lockdown” sign is placed at a street barricade in Sampaloc, Manila on April 19, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Local government units cannot place their areas under a lockdown without the approval of the national government, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Friday.

Local officials need to seek the approval of the inter-agency task force on COVID-19 first before they could declare an enhanced community quarantine, Año said.

"Hindi po pupuwede na mag-unilateral declaration ang isang local chief executive na ilalagay niya ang isang probinsya sa ECQ," he said.

(A local chief executive cannot unilaterally place a province under ECQ.)

"Ito ay kailangang aprubado ng IATF," he added.

(This should be approved by the IATF.)

The government previously allowed local officials to declare lockdowns in their respective jurisdictions as long as they coordinate with the Department of the Interior and Local Govenrment.

Año explained that unilateral declarations of lockdowns would make the locality ineligible to receive cash assistance from the national government.

The following areas will remain under enhanced community quarantine from May 1 to 15, some of which are subject to rechecking: Metro Manila, the Southern Tagalog (Calabarzon) and Central Luzon regions, Mindoro island, the provinces of Pangasinan, Benguet, Catanduanes, and Albay; Antique, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, and Cebu in the Visayas; and Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, and Davao City in Mindanao.