SAGADA, Mountain Province – Municipal officials and tribal leaders in this fifth-class municipality expressed their gratitude to the members of a contingent from the Office of the President for respecting the established health and safety protocols that prevented them from doing filming activities in the locality for the production of a material as part of the fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo R. Duterte on July 27, 2020.
Mayor James Pooten reported that the municipal inter-agency task force informed the group, headed by director Joyce Bernal and actor Piolo Pascual, on the strict implementation of health protocols where people from identified red areas, like Metro Manila, will have to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine before being allowed to roam around the municipality.
“The members of the Palace contingent were very apologetic when we informed them about our existing health and safety protocols. We are grateful to them that they respected our protocols because we were firm in doing so regardless of who will be entering the municipality,” Mayor Pooten stressed.
He added that the municipal government has no plans of filling charges against the members of the Palace contingent because of the utmost respect they showed to the established protocols that had been enforced since the start of the community quarantine last March 17, 2020.
The municipal chief executive claimed the incident should serve as a warning to people wanting to visit the municipality, especially those coming from areas with increasing number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, that they have to undergo the required 14-day quarantine in the limited isolation facilities before being allowed to go out in the locality.
According to him, the municipal inter-agency task force cannot afford to put to risk the health and safety of the residents who had been strictly adhering to the prevailing health and safety protocols during the community quarantine and it will be unfair for those who were turned back if the members of the Palace contingent were allowed entry in the municipality without undergoing quarantine.
Mayor Pooten explained the communication was sent through email after office hours of June 6, 2020 and unknowingly, the group decided to travel to Sagada without awaiting the response from the municipal government that denied the request primarily because of the importance of protecting the health of the residents from the deadly virus aside from the fact that being a fifth-class municipality, it lacks the health facilities that will cater once there will be a sudden surge of COVID-19 patients who were able to contract the virus from people that have entered the municipality without undergoing the required quarantine period.
He disclosed that the four owners and personnel of the lodging facility where the members of the Palace contingent stayed overnight have been required to undergo the required 14-day quarantine as one of the health protocols to ensure they will be free from the deadly virus.
The mayor stated that within 3 to 5 days, the said individuals will be subjected to the mandatory swab test to ensure that they will be totally free from the virus pursuant to established health protocols in the locality. By Hent