BAGUIO CITY—The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have issued a memo requiring local government units (LGUs) to implement stricter health protocols.
“Under the guidelines of Joint Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2021-001, LGUs are required to identify and designate appropriate places that will serve as holding areas for persons cited for violations and that the holding area shall accommodate as many persons as possible, without crowding and/or violation of physical distancing protocols,” said DILG - Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) OIC-Regional Director (RD) Araceli San Jose.
She said that the Department is enjoining the active and meaningful participation of barangay officials in implementing minimum public health standards (MPHS) and precautions such as the wearing of face masks, maintenance of physical distancing protocols, and compliance with curfew hours.
“Government officials who fail to implement and enforce all applicable, laws, policies, and guidelines will be held accountable for violation of the Local Government Code and the Revised Penal Code,” she noted.
Meanwhile, the PNP should assist LGUs in the strict enforcement of all directives, laws, and ordinances particularly all applicable MPHS s and precautions such as the wearing of face masks, maintenance of physical distancing protocols, and compliance with curfew hours.
“To avoid overcrowding and the transmission of COVID-19, the PNP should also establish holding areas where violators of health and safety standards will be brought in, and they shall not be placed with detainees in jails,” she said.
For the DOJ, in cases of warrantless arrest of persons for violations of health and safety ordinances, and quarantine, and other related violations, the inquest prosecutor will conduct inquest proceedings, either virtually by way of e-inquest or physically by way of traditional face-to-face.
Further, the inquest prosecutor must determine the validity of the warrantless arrest, as well as the applicable violations of health and safety ordinances, and quarantine, and other related violations.
The City or Provincial Prosecutor must ensure the issuance or release of the approved resolution or information at the earliest opportunity to avoid unnecessary congestion in jails and detention centers.