The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reminded citizens to stay home and follow government’s advice to quarantine while reminding local government officials to “step up” and “do their jobs” or face consequences while the country is under quarantine to avert the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In his Memorandum to all LGUs, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said barangay officials must lead in the enforcement of strict home quarantine in all households and ensure that only one member of the family will be allowed to go outside to purchase basic necessities.

He added that mass gatherings, whether for religious, cultural, commercial or recreational in nature, must not be allowed by local officials.

“Konting sakripisyo lang po ang aming hinihiling sa ating mga pinuno ng barangay, maging sa ating mga kababayan. Bawal po ang pagala-gala,” he said in a statement.

Año added that local officials may face charges of gross neglect of duty, gross negligence and insubordination for failing to perform their responsibilities under the state of public health emergency.

DILG Undersecretary for External and Legislative Affairs Ricojudge Janvier Echiverri said local government officials, especially those in the barangays, who are not implementing the government’s quarantine guidelines or are absent from their posts, can be reported to the DILG. 

“Much as we want to implement the whole thing, we cannot cover the whole area that is why we need the local governments to step up and the media to report to us also what areas are in need of more supervision,” he said.  (Rommel F. Lopez)