DILG advises LGUs to ‘lift window hours’ amid community quarantine

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 27) — Interior Department Secretary Eduardo Año discouraged local governments from implementing window hours, which is the only time people can go out to buy food and other supplies.

Año addressed LGUs earlier in an Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) briefing, saying people should be given around 12 hours of buying their essentials, so long as social distancing is strictly observed.

“I’m advising all the LGUs to lift the window hours for marketing or buying because kapag naglagay ka ng window hours, kinukumpol-kumpol mo lang iyong mga tao lalo,” he said Wednesday.

[Translation: I’m advising all the LGUs to lift the window hours for marketing or buying because if you implement window hours, people gather all the more.]

Año also said that there is “no hard rule” in issuing a barangay quarantine pass, as long as LGUs can control the movement of their constituents. He added that there are local governments that do not issue such pass, while others do.

“This is a good control measure actually, pero kung ito naman ay magpo-force sa mga tao na pipila at pupunta doon sa Barangy, hindi rin ito advisable,” he said.

[Translation: This is a good control measure actually, but if this will force people to fall in line to go to the barangay, it is also not advisable.]

Furthermore, there are some barangays who distribute the quarantine pass to houses to avoid queues, according to Año.

Authorities are urging people to practice regular hand washing, covering their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoiding close contact with those who exhibit virus symptoms to prevent the spread of the virus.