IATF to decide Bacolod City appeal for lockdown extension: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 29 2020 02:17 PM

MANILA- The government's pandemic task force will decide on the appeal of Bacolod City officials to President Rodrigo Duterte to extend the lockdown in their area as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus pandemic, Malacañang said Wednesday.

The appeal has reached President Duterte's office, his spokesman Harry Roque confirmed.

"Aforesaid appeal needs to undergo protocol such as the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). Let us just wait for IATF’s decision in this regard," Roque said.

Bacolod City is among the areas that can shift to a looser general community quarantine by May 1.

But Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia on Tuesday said he and other city officials appealed to President Duterte to extend the enhanced community quarantine in their city until May 15. 

"It is better to be safe than sorry, and to take all steps necessary, like extending the ECQ until May 15, to protect our people from further COVID infections," Leonardia said in a statement Tuesday.

The city council also passed a resolution appealing to the IATF for the same extension of the lockdown, Leonardia said.

"While we are happy that the IATF classified us as a low-risk area, that is not an absolute guarantee that our people [are] now truly safe and secure," the mayor said.

"Better to err on the side of caution than to live under a false sense of security and suffer for it eventually," he added.