The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it will continue working for the good of the country and the people as it implements health and safety protocols provided by the pandemic task force.
DILG chief Eduardo Año yesterday said there will always be critics who will have their say whatever action the government takes on the Covid health crisis.
In a message sent to reporters, Año pointed out critics will always find something wrong in the positive Covid solutions, initiatives or policies, stressing this is the very essence of a democratic country.
He pointed out when the government faced Covid last year, there were no hospitals or ICU beds for Covid patients and the vaccine still had to be invented.
“Now, we have all of those health care facilities and vaccines,” he said.
Metro Manila was downgraded to Alert Level 2 status, which provided greater mobility to the public to allow them to start planning for the coming Christmas holiday.
Most of millennials welcomed the relaxed restrictions in the National Capital Region, after being confined to their homes for more than a year.
With minors allowed in Metro malls, there was an influx of shoppers with children in tow, which is in stark contrast when the restrictions were a lot stricter.
Although minors are allowed in malls, Año noted they should be accompanied by their parents or guardians regardless of vaccination status.
“They may also eat either al fresco or indoors subject to the prescribed seating capacity. LGU (local government units) may impose additional restrictions,’’ he added.
He also assured increased police visibility in all potential spots of convergence, especially during the Christmas season.
While the population in Metro Manila has achieved a satisfactory vaccination rate, the DILG chief stressed, “We must still adhere to the health protocols and comply with the minimum health standards.’’
Earlier, he admitted there is always the possibility of a spike in Covid cases with the relaxed restrictions, but gave assurances the Philippine National Police (PNP) and LGU will enforce minimum public standards and prevent mass gatherings.
Año noted the alert level review and assessment is done every two weeks, with the LGU having the authority to place any area under granular lockdown, which makes it easy to address a surge or community transmission.
Meanwhile, PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the PNP will continue monitoring the public’s observance of minimum public health protocols now that they are allowed to go out freely, except for some few restrictions.