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Pasay barangays on lockdown now 34

Local officials enforce lockdown in Barangay 107 in Pasay yesterday. (Edd Gumban)

MANILA, Philippines — Another barangay in Pasay was included in areas under localized lockdown yesterday amid the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

The local government locked down Barangay 171, which recorded four cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

As of yesterday, 34 barangays and two transient homes were placed under lockdown until March 5.

In Barangay 107, where the Pasay City General Hospital is located, local officials would allow residents to leave their homes for work or to buy food and other essentials. 

“We try to avoid locking down the entire barangay. We zero in on the household or particular family who is affected,” city administrator Dennis Acorda said in an interview on TeleRadyo.

Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano tested positive for the virus on Feb. 9. She is on her way to recovery, Acorda said.

He said they would review health and safety protocols being enforced in Pasay following the increase in COVID-19 cases.

Non-residents, including relatives and delivery riders are prohibited from entering the barangays on lockdown.

The residents, especially children and the elderly, were urged to stay indoors to protect them from the virus.

Barangay 183, which is near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, registered the highest number of COVID-19 cases with 24, followed by Barangay 118 with 16; Barangays 107 and 98 with 12 each; Barangay 188 with 11, and Barangay 177 with 10.

Of the number of positive cases in Barangay 107, city hall said 10 are seafarers.

Four residents from the affected barangays have died of COVID-19, according to Pasay command center chief Rhodora Pimlott.

Pimlott said they have conducted mass testing, contact tracing and disinfection.

As of Sunday, Pasay tallied a total of 7,594 COVID-19 cases with 361 active infections, according to the city’s public information office.

Localized lockdowns

Mayors are authorized to enforce localized lockdowns if cases of COVID-19 in their jurisdictions continue to increase, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said yesterday.

“They can implement partial lockdowns in the barangays and they can always consult with health experts, especially from the Department of Health (DOH),” Abalos said.

He made the statement following the implementation of localized lockdowns in Pasay.

National Capital Region Police Office chief Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. has ordered his district directors to coordinate with local governments in enforcing COVID-19 health protocols.

DILG warns local officials

Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) warned local officials of legal suits if they were found involved in irregularities in the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.

DILG officer-in-charge Bernardo Florece Jr. said all negotiations for vaccine procurement should follow the tripartite process, especially since President Duterte has allowed local government units to make advance payments that exceed the 15-percent limit set under procurement laws.

“Corruption has no place in the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We will not hesitate to file cases once we have proven that local officials are involved in corruption over the procurement of vaccines,” Florece said.

He said the memorandum order provides that the procurement and payment of vaccines are subject to the authorization of vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and “to the criteria and limits identified by the National Task Force and DOH, consistent with applicable laws.” – Ghio Ong, Neil Jayson Servallos

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