Treñas’ appeal for lower quarantine classification for city trashed

PHOTO CAPTION: Iloilo City mayor Jerry Treñas, shown here turning over to the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) some 40,000 rounds of ammunitions for the latter’s fight against criminality, said he tried appealing for a lower quarantine classification for Iloilo City but it fell on deaf ears. (N. Glenn Aragon/Photo courtesy of Arnold Almacen/CMO)

ILOILO CITY–As he had announced earlier, Iloilo City mayor Jerry Treñas submitted a written appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) seeking a lower quarantine classification for the city starting next month, but the IATF apparently has other plans: Iloilo City will continue to be under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) status from August 1 to 7.

According to the city chief executive, he still doesn’t know if his appeal was junked or simply ignored as the IATF came out with a decision to place Iloilo City under ECQ status for another week even when active COVID-19 cases in the metro continue on a steady downswing, and the city is now only fourth in Western Visayas with the most active cases next to the provinces of Iloilo, Aklan, and Negros Occidental.

Treñas added that, since the healthcare utilization rate remains the primary basis of the IATF in placing the city under EQQ, he can’t do anything more than present his objections to their decision.

“Gintaw-an man ‘to nila (ang appeal). Te, wala man ta maubra. Pasalamat kita kay mahatag sila sang P1,000. Daku man ang total amount but if you consider ang mga tawo nga wala sang ubra, halin June pa kita gin-MECQ (Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine), mapulupin-ot man para sa tawo [They saw the appeal. But we can’t do anything about it. We are thankful they will give P1,000 (to each beneficiary). To be fair, the total amount is big but if you consider that many people are without jobs—we were already under MECQ in June—it would be a bit difficult for everyone],” the city chief averred.

He added that the utilization rate in hospitals in the city of Iloilo would continue to remain high for as long as COVID-19 cases in the nearby provinces of the region are high because they would still refer their severe COVID-19 cases in hospitals to the city.

IATF RECOMMENDATIONS

To note, President Rodrigo Duterte just today approved the recommendations of the IATF to place Iloilo City and Iloilo Province under ECQ. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed the decision in his Facebook post.

Meanwhile, Bacolod City and the provinces of Aklan, Antique, and Capiz will be under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) but with heightened restrictions from August 1 to 15.

On the other hand, the provinces of Negros Occidental and Guimaras will be under GCQ from August 1 to 30. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)

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