Governors want expanded COVID alert system deferred to Nov. 1

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 20 2021 11:05 AM | Updated as of Oct 20 2021 11:21 AM

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MANILA - The League of Provinces of the Philippines on Wednesday urged the government to defer the implementation of the pilot alert level system in several areas outside of Metro Manila until next month.

“May agam-agam po tayong mga gobernador na maapektuhan ng biglang pag implement nitong alert level system. Dahil po biglaan nga po, kailangan pong pag-aralan ang rules din dyan na nakapaloob sa alert level system,” Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco Jr. said in a TeleRadyo interview. 

(We, governors, have reservations on the immediate implementation of this alert level system. We need to study the rules on the alert level system.) 

Velasco said the postponement would give local chief executives more time to study the new alert system and cascade the same to their constituents and to those tasked to enforce it.

“Hinihiling natin baka November 1 na po effective date ng implementation para makagawa ng kanya-kanyang executive order ang mga local chief executives para matingnan din po kung ano yung reasonable regulations na pwede nilang i-impose at nakalagay naman po doon sa Omnibus guidelines d'yan sa implementation ng alert level system sa NCR na may karapatan din po ang mga LGUs na maglagay ng reasonable regulations,” he said.

(We are asking to make the implementation effective November 1 so that we can make our own executive order and to determine what reasonable regulations we can impose, and it’s stated in the Omnibus guidelines in the implementation of the alert level system in the NCR that LGUs have the right to include reasonable regulations.)

Malacañang on Tuesday said the COVID-19 alert system first tested in Metro Manila has been expanded to several areas starting Oct. 20 until Oct. 31.

“Mas importante po kailangang ma-disseminate, mabigyan ng kopya ang ating mga constituents at maipaliwanag nang mabuti ano ba ang effect nitong bagong alert level system na ito. Yung mag-iimplement din po, yung mga pulis, mga barangay officials. Kailangan din po maipaliwanag nang mabuti kung ano ang gagawin. Hindi po pwedeng biglaan. Sa tingin namin baka maganda po November 1. May sufficient time na po kami para makapag meeting ang task force against COVID,” Velasco said.

(More importantly, we need to disseminate this to our constituents and to explain properly the effects of this new alert level system. We also need to explain it to the ones who will enforce this—the police, the barangay officials—on what to do. We can’t rush this. We think that its better if it’s implemented on Nov. 1. That would give us sufficient time to meet the task force against COVID.)

Velasco said they also recommend that resolutions by the Inter-Agency Task Force be published on newspapers to further disseminate the information.

Unlike in the capital region, disseminating such regulations is a challenge for the provinces given the weak internet connectivity and locations.

“Kailangan po adequate ang panahon para maipaliwanag po lahat yan kasi apektado ang buhay ng tao d'yan. Apektado ang trabaho, ang paggalaw ng tao so kailangang maipaliwanag nang mabuti. Kailangang mabigyan ng panahon na maganda para maintindihan ng lahat na involved at lalo na yung mga taong hihilingin nating sumunod dito sa mga regulasyon na ganito,” he said.

(There should be adequate time to explain this to everyone because everyone is affected—the lives, work and movement of people are affected so we should explain this to them properly. We need to be given time for this so that all those involved would understand, particularly the people whom we will ask to follow the regulations.)

The governor said he was not informed about the new alert level system and was surprised to learn that it was supposed to be immediately implemented.
 
Quirino Gov. Dakila Cua supported Velasco’s call for the deferment of the implementation of the COVID alert level system until next month. But Cua said LGUs have been preparing and studying the indicators of the alert level system.

“As early as September, October humingi na tayo ng technical assistance sa IATF para ibaba nga ito at icascade at mapaghandaan nang mabuti,” he said.

(As early as September, October we already requested for technical assistance from the IATF to cascade this properly.)

Government started testing out the alert system and accompanying granular lockdowns in Metro Manila in mid-September in a bid to curb coronavirus clusters and spur economic activity.

Cua said the ongoing vaccination has lessened the number of severe and critical COVID patients.
 
"Umaarangkada ngayon. Hopefully makahabol kaagad-agad ang mga probinsya natin para sa ganun lahat tayo may mas safe na Pasko," he said.

(It's ongoing and hopefully provinces can catch up for everyone to have a safer Christmas.)
 
Cua said the challenge now is in convincing more people to get vaccinated. 

"If everything goes well, sa tingin ko achievable yung target natin and December might be a hopeful month na ma-achieve natin itong mga substantial herd immunity," he said.

(If everything goes well I think the target is achievable and December might be a hopeful month to achieve this substantial herd immunity.)

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