Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon presiding over a COVID-19 meeting (photo from Tagum City’s official Facebook Page)

“Fake news is deadlier than the virus.”

This was how Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon reacted upon learning of social media posts claiming he will order the total closure of all malls in the city. 

The post alleges that even groceries and pharmacies will be closed under an executive order the mayor will issue to fully enforce the enhanced community quarantine in the entire Davao Region where Tagum City is located.


READ:  Davao region to be placed under enhanced community quarantine


“Fake news is faster to transmit that is why people need to get their information either straight from city officials or through reputable news organizations,” Rellon said in Cebuano during an interview with PressONE.ph.

Rellon said there are no plans to totally close the groceries, supermarkets and pharmacies since they deliver essential services.

 “Groceries, supermarkets and pharmacies will still remain open since they are essentials.  We will just strengthen the policy on social distancing and mandatory wearing of face mask,” he

He said that a supermarket told him they are willing to close if the mayor orders it but insisted that he needs to consider the buying capacity of residents of the city before making a drastic decision since not all can afford to buy in bulk so they could have enough supplies to last for days.

He understands that the quarantine measures being implemented have inconvenienced the citizens of the city but Rellon is calling for everyone’s cooperation and understanding since these are all done for the “public’s welfare”.

“Life is more important, but we could not compromise basic needs. We just need to be disciplined; obedient to the ordinances anyway these are all temporary. Stay at home, disinfect, wear a facemask, have a foot bath for our footwear since the virus can stick to our shoes or flip-flops,” he advised.

Earlier, the city government announced the total closure of the city’s public market from April 6 -12, 2020.  Contact tracing efforts discovered that one COVID-19 positive patient went around the market.  Rellon said market vendors petitioned him to close and disinfect the market after learning of this development.  They also complained to him that social distancing is not being observed by buyers. 

“We already scheduled a per barangay buying schedule and we have not allowed non Tagum residents from buying in the public market but still the vendors wanted the closure since they are afraid they might get contaminated as well,” he added.

“Although they are exempted from the closure, they did this out of their concern for the public’s welfare since most COVID-19 positive patients are asymptomatic and they could be unaware of their condition and they would visit the market,” he added.

Tagum City is the capital of Davao del Norte which is in Davao Region.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio who is also chairperson of the region’s Task Force COVID-19 said the region will be under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) beginning Saturday, April 4, 9PM, to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

As of April 3, Davao Region has 69 COVID-19 of cases. Davao City has the highest with 57 cases, followed by Davao del Norte with six; Davao Oriental with three, Davao del Sur with two and Davao de Oro with one.  Only the province of Davao Occidental remains COVID-19 free.  (Rommel F. Lopez)