By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The provincial government of Negros Occidental backs a proposal being pushed before the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) to give power for local government units (LGUs) to declare their own quarantine classification and enforce their own granular lockdowns.
Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz yesterday said he and Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson have long been campaigning for the proposal pointing out LGUs have a better idea as to what is happening on the ground compared to the NIATF.
“We know best what is happening on the ground, and we also know best our capacity, so why would you make a uniform ruling nga wala sia gasantu sa aton kinaiya or aton nga peculiarity. Kada LGU may lain-lain man nga sitwasyon,” Diaz said.
If the province is allowed to control its own quarantine classification, Diaz said the provincial government will not be complacent and he believes Lacson will push for the province to remain under a general community quarantine (GCQ) status wherein people will be reminded to remain cautious, but economic activities will not be hampered.
Last week, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing stated the NIATF may move away with the regional or province-wide lockdowns, and instead give the power for LGUs to declare their own quarantine classification or enforce their own granular lockdowns.
According to Densing, the proposal was based on a recommendation forwarded by the sub-technical working group which was led by the Department of Health.
He added the national government will still have the option to declare a wide lockdown, although it will only be applied as a “last resort.”/DGB, WDJ