BONTOC, Mountain Province – The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Mountain Province chapter passed a resolution providing for a consolidated general community quarantine (GCQ) guidelines that will be uniformly implemented in all the province’s ten municipalities.
Under Resolution No. 1, series of 2020, the LMP states that minimum public health standards shall be complied with at all times for the duration of the GCQ while the movement of all persons allowed to go out of their residences shall be limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in the offices or industries permitted to operate under GCQ.
Further, the LMP, composed of all the municipal mayors of the province’s 10 towns, adds that no movement for leisure will be allowed.
Among the persons not be allowed to go out of their residences include individuals below 21 years old and those who are 60 years old and above; those who are immune-compromised; those with co-morbidities or other health risks and pregnant women, except when indispensable under the circumstances where obtaining essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and sectors.
The LMP claims that for government construction activities, the same shall be subject to the guidelines to be issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) but private construction activities, house constructions and the like will be allowed, provided that, strict health protocols such as physical distancing, reduced number of workers, and mandatory of face masks will be observed in the construction sites.
The LMP tasks the municipal government operations officer concerned to assign personnel to monitor the compliance of the construction activities to the established health protocols.
The LMP stipulates that among the activities that are not allowed under the GCQ include amusement, gaming, fitness, kids industries and tourism.
According to the LMP resolution, physical classes will be suspended during the duration of the GCQ and mass gatherings are still prohibited.
The LMP points out cargoes from affected areas or those still in the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will be delivered up to the boundaries of the province and that the goods will be allowed entry by any of the established modes after being thoroughly disinfected and traders and suppliers coming from ECQ zones who have designated buyers within the province shall deliver said goods to the provincial boundary with the designated buyer picking up the goods at the boundary; trucks or vehicles of both the trader or supplier and the buyer shall undergo through disinfection procedures.
The LMP discloses that travel passes for cargos going outside the municipality shall be issued by the concerned municipal mayor while travel passes for cargos going outside the province shall be issued by the provincial government. If the province will not issue travel passes for travels outside the province, the municipal mayor concerned may issue subject to required documents.
Moreover, health declaration forms of drivers or helpers who shall be waiting at the provincial boundary shall be signed by the health workers manning the boundary control points.
While the LMP understands the desire of constituents from the province who are stranded in ECQ areas to go home to the province, the resolution asserts the protection and promotion of health is paramount, thus, non-essential entry of people into, or from the province to or from ECQ zones shall strictly be prohibited, except for those authorized persons and those travelling for medical or humanitarian reasons as may be applicable. The MLGOO concerned shall adopt appropriate measures to help the people from the province stranded in ECQ and other areas outside the province.
The LMP cites that municipal governments shall continue to issue travel passes and health declaration forms or medical certificates for inter-municipality travels subject to the fulfillment of commentary and other requirements.
For public transport, particularly inter-municipality transport, public utility vehicles (PUVs) or public utility jeepneys (PUJs) plying the merged routes within the province shall be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity maximum per vehicle with strict observance of no face mask, no ride policy and physical distancing. Drivers and conductors are required to wear gloves and face masks and protecting cover at all times while passengers are required to wear face masks at all times.
For buses, passengers shall be seated one seat apart, no standing passenger shall be allowed.
For jeeps, passengers seats beside the driver may be occupied by one passenger, provided that, the driver compartment is sealed off by a non-permeable transparent barrier and there is no conductor present during the trip.
For UV express, passenger load should not exceed 2 passengers per row except for the drivers row for which there should only be one passenger allowed to occupy the passengers seat, provided that, the drivers compartment is sealed off.
To ensure that the limited passenger capacity is complied with, operators are required to adopt means or markings that will guide passengers as to which seats are available during trips.
The LMP directs operators to secure the necessary special permit and that requests for special permit shall be done through online facility of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) central office and the regional offices. Vehicles should be dis-infected at the end of each trip with all surfaces, especially seats, arm rests and hand laces, among others, with dis-infecting agents.
Operators and drivers are also required to provide a foot disinfectant for passengers prior to boarding their vehicles.
Municipal governments are also required to maintain their barangay quarantine assistance stations and for inter-zonal movements, all authorized persons outside residences, including government officials and employees, entering any of the municipalities from an ECQ or from provinces with positive Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) case, will be subjected to a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a facility designated by the concerned city government and that from the provincial control point to the said facility, he or she will not be allowed to make stops nor come into close contacts with anyone.