MANILA - Local officials will face charges for failing to prohibit mass gatherings, the Department of Interior and Local Government warned Sunday.
Failure on the part of local officials to enforce health protocols may lead to administrative sanction or criminal charge for dereliction of duty under the Revised Penal Code, the DILG said in a statement.
“Maaaring administrative complaint or criminal case ang isampa laban sa pabayang LCEs (local chief executives). Hindi po gusto ng DILG na dumating sa puntong gawin ito, kaya sana ipatupad nang maayos ng LGUs (local government units) ang polisiya sa mass gatherings ayon sa quarantine classification sa kanilang lugar,” said DILG Secretary Eduardo Año.
(LCEs can face administrative or criminal cases. The DILG doesn't want this, so we hope LGUs can enforce policies on mass gatherings based on the quarantine classification of their area.)
Under the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force Against COVID-19 as of April 15, gatherings outside residences and gatherings at residences are prohibited in areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), Modified ECQ (MECQ), and General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Gatherings are allowed up to 50 percent of seating or venue capacity for areas under Modified GCQ (MGCQ).
Gatherings for the provision of government services and authorized humanitarian activities are allowed in all areas under ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, and MGCQ.
Religious gatherings are prohibited under ECQ, while it is allowed in MECQ for 10 to 30 percent of seating capacity, subject to local government regulations. Under GCQ, it is allowed up to 30 to 50 percent. In areas under MGCQ, it is allowed up to 50 percent of seating capacity.
Necrological services and funerals for those who died of causes besides COVID-19 are allowed but limited to family members in ECQ and MECQ areas. In areas under GCQ, it is allowed up to 30 to 50 percent capacity. Under MGCQ, it is allowed up to 50 percent of venue capacity.
Movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, entertainment activities, and work conferences are prohibited in areas under ECQ, MECQ, and GCQ. In areas under MGCQ, these are allowed up to 50 percent of seating capacity in compliance with ventilation standards.
The public is urged to file complaints against erring local officials to DILG Regional Offices or the DILG Emergency Operations Center at email@example.com or (02) 8876-3454 local 881 to 884.
Independent research group OCTA said Sunday that daily virus cases in Metro Manila has declined to an average of 2,100 from a peak of 5,500.
Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal were placed under ECQ from March 29 until April 11, and then under MECQ from April 12 until May 14, to curb the alarming rise in infections that started early March.
Metro Manila now has a virus reproduction rate of 0.67, and a weekly growth rate of -27 percent, OCTA Research fellow Guido David told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
"We anticipate by next week, by May 14, baka less than 2,000 cases na yan (it might be less than 2,000 cases)," he said.
The Department of Health earlier said the lower number of fresh COVID-19 cases being reported in recent weeks can be attributed to the fewer number of samples being received by accredited laboratories for testing.
The Philippines on Saturday reported 6,979 new COVID-19 cases, bringing its total to 1,094,849, of which 63,376 were active infections.
Since the country rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination program on March 1, more than 2 million shots have been administered, of which over 1.74 million were first doses and over 320,000 were second doses.
As of Saturday, more than 7.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to the country.