LGUs tasked to identify gov't facilities to be used as quarantine areas

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has ordered all local government units (LGUs) to identify government facilities that may be used as quarantine areas for potential carriers of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4 on Friday night, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Department of the Interior and Local Government was tasked to issue guidelines on the planned use of government establishments for quarantine and isolation purposes.

Nograles, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said the task force approved the proposal on Friday.

“The local government units in the provincial, city, municipal, and barangay levels, as well as those in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, are hereby directed to identify government facilities that may be temporarily converted into isolation or quarantine facilities,” he said.

Nograles said government-owned and -controlled corporations were also directed to identify public facilities that may be tapped as temporary shelters for individuals suspected to be infected with Covid-19.

He added that the Department of Tourism and other government agencies were likewise directed to coordinate with entities under their respective regulatory authorities, as applicable in identifying facilities that may be temporarily designated for isolation or quarantine purposes.

“All identified facilities shall be reported to the National Task Force (NTF) on Covid-19 and the Task Group on Resource Management and Logistics,” Nograles said.

He noted that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was directed to conduct site inspections and commence works on the identified facilities approved by the NTF Covid-19.

“For this purpose, the DPWH shall accredit construction workers who will work on facilities identified for purposes of quarantine or isolation. Such accredited workers shall be exempted from the strict home quarantine requirements,” he said.

Strict home quarantine must be observed by more than 53 million people living in Luzon after the island was placed under enhanced community quarantine.