Mayor Isko Moreno and DOH Sec. Francisco Duque
By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso this city has warned hotels that accept fees to allow individuals to skip and violate quarantine protocols that they will face dire consequences if they do so.
“To all hotels and motels, don’t ever violate IATF rules. If you violate, gusto ko man magtayo ng negosyo, gusto ko man magprovide ng trabaho sa mga tao, pero if you are going to endanger, for a fee, babayaran kayo ng pasyente kasi mayaman o kasi eletista, may kaya, may kilala, tapos kayo kukunin niyo pera. Mapipilitan ako na isara kayo,” Moreno said.
Moreno made the warning following reports that certain hotels offer absentee quarantine packages to Returning Filipino Overseas (RFOs) that came to light after a balikbayan dubbed “Poblacion Girl” went viral on social media. The woman went to Poblacion in Makati to party with friends when she is supposed to be undergoing quarantine.
He also reminded his constituents not to do what “Poblacion Girl” did.
“Plain and simple reminder, there are existing laws in the country that you can be held liable for criminally. Gusto ko lang remind that if you do these things, maaari kayong managot,” he said.
“Mahirap ang sitwasyon natin. Misyon natin mapagaan, tulong-tulong na lang tayo. May awa ang Diyos. Maging responsible tayo sa isa’t isa. This is a gentle reminder (to) practice due diligence.”
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assured that the incident is already being investigated by the Bureau of Quarantine and other concerned government agencies, including the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Philippine National Police.
“We will hold people to account for the breach in the protocols. These are clearly violations of established protocols…Anybody who will be found guilty of breaching them, violating these rules and regulations will be made to account to the fullest extent of the law,” Duque vowed.
Earlier, Moreno opened the Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital in Luneta as a quarantine facility for infected RFOs following the rise of new COVID-19 cases and confirmed cases of the Omicron variant among balikbayans.
Moreover, the Manila City government will shoulder all expenses until all ROFs complete their quarantine requirements.
“Iisang bangka tayo. Dito sa Maynila, welcome ang lahat. Sa abot ng aming makakaya, handa kaming tumulong sa ibang nangangailangan ng mga life-saving drugs gaya ng Remdisivir at Tocilizumab na maraming natulungan sa ibang lugar sa labas ng syudad,” said Moreno.
The Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital, which was initially intended for “mild and asymptomatic patients” can accommodate up to 344 RFOs. (ai/mtvn)