MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Sunday warned all malls which have begun limited operation under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) that they will be closed by the local government units or the Philippine National Police if they do not strictly implement safe physical distancing and control the entry of people as prescribed by the guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said he has directed all LGUs and the Joint Task Force Covid Shield under PLt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar to inspect all malls and talk to mall management about their observance of the DOH Minimum Health Standards and Quarantine Protocols.
“All Chiefs of Police and PCP Commanders should make rounds of all malls prior to opening and during operating hours. If the malls are not able to comply with the minimum health standards, the PNP can close the malls and charge the mall owners with violation of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act,” he said in a press release.
He added that all PNP checkpoints will remain in all areas under community quarantine, whether ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), MECQ or GQC (general community quarantine) or MGCQ (modified general community quarantine).
“The general rule continues to be ‘stay at home’ unless accessing essential services or going to work in permitted industries. Those found to be unauthorized will be fined, issued citation tickets, or detained if they refuse to go home,” he said.
Año said while there will be more vehicles on the road because of opening of some industries, this does not mean that the PNP will be less strict with implementing the law.
“Hence, everyone must bring with them their government-issued ID cards or company IDs or other proofs of employment in industries allowed to operate so that the PNP will have a basis to allow you to go through,” he said.
He added that mobile checkpoints will be set up in strategic places to ensure compliance with community quarantine regulations.
“All LGUs in the exercise of their police power will also continue to implement the curfew in their respective areas subject to the provisions of their respective ordinances,” he said.
He also clarified that since the community quarantine is still in effect all over the country, barangays and LGUs will continue to issue quarantine passes to regulate the movement of people so long as these comply with valid exemptions granted by the IATF. (ia/DILG)