Groups conducting relief ops need to secure permit from LGUs

MANILA – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año urged the local government units (LGUs) to issue certification to the private groups who plan to conduct relief operations amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the certification would be needed before organizations can pass through quarantine checkpoints and conduct their relief operations.

He said all relief operations should be properly coordinated with LGUs before the relief items are distributed at the community level.

He added that they have received reports that some were caught with unauthorized placards that state they were volunteer organizations.

“Based on the report Joint Task Force Covid Shield, dahil ginagamit na palusot ang relief ops, minabuti ni Secretary Año na maglabas ng kautusan na lahat ng relief operations ay magpakita ng certification galing sa LGU na sila ay nakipagugnayan para mamigay ng relief goods (relief ops are being used as alibi, Secretary Año decided to come out with directive that all relief operations must have certification from LGU allowing them to distribute relief goods),” Malaya said in a Laging Handa briefing on Saturday.

Malaya said relief organizations will violate the government’s “stay at home” and “social distancing” policies of the government if they will distribute goods without permit from LGUs.

He assured that LGUs will be responsive in processing the certification of relief organizations and their volunteers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said one-page certification from the city government would suffice and would be honored by the police at checkpoints.

He added that the policy aims to protect both the volunteers and the communities that they are trying to help from the dreaded coronavirus.

“We are not prohibiting people from doing relief organizations. What we are saying is we need to control the movement of people. That is what ECQ is, ergo the government needs to regulate. If you want to distribute, whether large or small. Talk to your LGU,” he said.