ECQ extended in specific areas; Palawan classified as low-risk
The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is set to be lifted on April 30, but President Rodrigo Duterte has announced its extension until May 15 in areas with high concentration of COVID-19 cases. These include the National Capital Region, Region 3 (Central Luzon), Region 4-A (CALABARZON), Pangasinan, Benguet, Mindoro, Albay, Catanduanes, Antique, Iloilo, Cebu, and Davao City. Palawan, on the other hand, is considered a low-risk area .
This is the second extension of the ECQ. The initial restriction was meant to last until April 14 but was extended to April 30. The World Health Organization (WHO) and other health experts have warned that hastily lifting quarantines can lead to a second wave of infections. An example of such is Singapore, which has faced a resurgence after their gradual relaxing of the quarantine rules.
Taytay island village placed under extreme quarantine
In another piece of lockdown news, the island fishing village of Paly in the municipality of Taytay has been placed under extreme community quarantine from April 18 to 30 to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 in the area. According to Mayor Romy Salve, the quarantine was ordered after a group of local fishermen returned from different provinces such as Batangas where they sold fish. There hasn’t been a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Barangay Paly and the rest of Taytay, but the extreme community quarantine is a preventive measure against the potential spread of the virus.
The extreme community quarantine prohibits any individual from leaving the barangay. Residents are also required to follow the liquor ban and to wear face masks. Fishermen were still allowed to catch and sell fish, but only within the barangay. Exemptions from the ExCQ are medical emergencies. The local government has also made sure to provide help to residents .
Anti-discrimination and harassment ordinance aims to protect frontliners and patients
The Palawan Provincial Board approved the ordinance “Frontliners and Patient Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Ordinance of the Province of Palawan” which seeks to protect frontliners and their families from discrimination and harassment. The ordinance prohibits any acts of harassment and discrimination against frontliners including the following:
• physical injury
• disallowing to board public utility vehicles
• preventing entering their boarding house
• public ridicule
• physical or verbal abuse
• throwing any liquid, objects, or any materials
• denying access to food establishments
• indifference of treatment in availment of any public programs or services
• other inimical acts detrimental to the safety, health, condition, and interest of any frontliners
Those who will be found violating the ordinance will be fined PhP5,000 and could face imprisonment not exceeding one year .