Get LGU approval before holding relief ops, groups told

MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday called on private groups anew to coordinate with local government units before conducting relief operations amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“First and foremost, the IATF-EID (Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) and the DILG have released guidelines that all those who will hold relief operations should be authorized. Meaning to say, it must be coordinated with LGUs and they have a certification from the LGUs because the LGUs should be in charge, so that they know who have already received aid and who are yet to receive aid,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a Laging Handa briefing aired on state-run PTV-4.

His remarks came after former senator Jinggoy Estrada was arrested by the police on Sunday afternoon for alleged violation of quarantine protocols in holding a relief drive in San Juan City.

He said all relief operations should be properly coordinated with LGUs before the relief items are distributed at the community level or they can coordinate also with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

“Dapat nag-coordinate sa LGU. Kung kaaway naman 'yung LGU, nandyan naman yung OCD. Ibigay mo yung gusto mong ipamigay dun, kung saan ang intensyon mo (They should coordinate with the LGUs. If they are not in good terms with LGU, OCD is there. Give it to them and let them know where you want to give it). Let OCD do its job, kasi may mga ahensya sa ilalim iyan (it has attached agencies),” he noted.

Banac, however, said the PNP will implement maximum tolerance in the remaining days of the ECQ in Metro Manila and some areas.

On Sunday afternoon, Estrada was arrested while distributing relief goods along A. Luna corner J. Ruiz street in Barangay Salapan.

Around 7:30 p.m. on the same day, Estrada was released after explaining his side to Eastern Police District (EPD) Director, Brig. Gen. Johnson Almazan. (PNA)