Pass anti-COVID ordinances, LGUs urged

LOCAL government units (LGUs) must enact ordinances that would make discipline as a new normal and a non-medical measure to fight against the dreaded COVID-19 illness.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano said that with the government easing quarantine restrictions to balance public health with the need to reopen the economy, measures must be instituted to promote discipline and individual responsibility among the people through legislation.

He said that these LGU ordinances that prescribe discipline will be part of the DILG’s broader “Disiplina Muna” campaign and for the people to do and follow simple health rules such as wearing face mask in public places and constant hand sanitizing.

The DILG chief also pointed out that practice of staying at least one-meter from each other or physical distancing, observing cough etiquette and staying at home (for children and senior citizens) would also be a big factor in the effort to prevent the spread the deadly corona virus most especially if it becomes a habit.  

“I encourage LGUs from provincial to barangay sanggunians to make use of their legislative power to enact ordinances on ‘discipline as the new normal’ to beat COVID-19. By instituting individual discipline, we can defeat COVID-19,” Ano pointed out.

The DILG Secretary reminded the public about the World Health Organization (WHO)’s warning that COVID-19 is merely biding its time waiting for people to let their guards down. The WHO said that even in countries that haven’t seen any cases recently, COVID-19 hasn’t gone away for good.

WHO advises people to avoid the three Cs: confined and closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places and close-contact settings, especially where people have close-range conversations.

Meanwhile, Ano said he supports the proposal of Joint Task Force COVID Shield Commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar to have ordinances in sustaining public health safety measures since the police cannot police everyone all the time.

“His proposal is good. It’s true that the police cannot police everyone all the time. Police can’t do it alone in making sure that all continue to follow health safety practices. Every Filipino must do his responsibility. If there’s an ordinance, it imposes a duty to obey, involves a sanction, promotes order, and benefits all,” the DILG Chief said.

Eleazar recently said that some LGUs have passed their ordinances imposing a penalty on people who would be caught in violation of the health protocols.