Where's physical distancing?

Photo by Macky Lim
Photo by Macky Lim

AFTER a hard lockdown in Barangay 23-C, one would expect that there would be some sort of order after it was lifted. However, that was not the case on July 21, Tuesday.

In a Facebook post by Superbalita Davao, photos of residents are seen lining up at the Mini-Forest Gym without observing the one-meter social distancing.

Based on the initial information gathered, the residents wanted to register their names so that they would be given a "blue card," which may serve as their gate pass when going out to buy their essential needs or to work and return to the barangay.

After posting the photos, the comment section was flooded with reactions from netizens, with some saying Barangay 23-C residents have not learned and remained headstrong just like before the lockdown.

Others, however, countered that those who commented negatively do not know what the residents, who were eager to get a gate pass, have gone through.

Facebook user Cindy Sinaloba Adolfo commented, "Ayaw pag-istorya'g ing-ana kay naningkamot ang mga tawo makagawas kay hubas na gyud ilang panudlanan ug puno na sila sa utang unta ang mga opisyales ilang gihan-ay. Dapat nihatag sila og schedule sa by purok nga makagawas para dili magrambol ang mga tawo, wala ba nila na isip nga mao gyud na ang mahitabo. Nag-lift sila sa lockdown wala man pod sila nagpagawas og guidelines (Don't say that because the residents are trying hard to go out as they could no longer make ends meet and are already full of debts. The officials should have organized a

schedule by purok on who can go out so that there wouldn't be any chaos. Haven't they think that this would really occur? They lifted the lockdown but they did not release guidelines)."

Another netizen Jelce Smith said, "Dili na sayop sa mga tawo, unta nag-isip og sakto nga pamaagi ang mga opisyales nga dili magkayagaw ang mga tawo kay ang mga tawo diri gusto na mogawas para makapanginabuhi (It's not the fault of the residents. The officials should have thought of ways to prevent this chaos since most of the residents here need to go out to earn a living)."

In an open letter written and posted by Bailyn Dima on Facebook, she stated that the government hasn't heard of any complaint from the residents.

"Wala mo nakadungog og reklamo sa amoa atong 18 nga supposed to be last day na sa 2 weeks lockdown. Nakasabot mi nga basihan pa ang swab test results. Nag 19, 20 na nagpaabot ra gihapon mi sa update if ma-lift na ba or dili kay kabalo mi dili man gyud agad2x ang result sa swab test (You have not heard a complaint from us last July 18, the supposed last day of our two-week lockdown. We understand that the swab test results were the basis for lifting of the lockdown. Then came July 19, until July 20 and we still waited for an update since we do not know whether the lockdown will really be lifted because we know that the result of the swab tests will not be released right there and then)," part of her open letter reads.

The hard lockdown in Barangay 23-C was lifted by the City Government at 2 p.m. of July 20.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the house or purok lockdown in the area will still continue as the Department of Health in Davao Region recommended due to the increasing number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the area.

"Security and health protocols will continue to be strictly observed during the purok/household lockdown, while food and other basic necessities will be given to the affected residents. These actions are being taken to prevent the massive spread of the killer virus in and outside of the area due to confirmed positive cases," the City Government's announcement reads.

Meanwhile, the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) said they have always reminded the public about social distancing during the "blue card" issuance.

"Kompleto ang atong pagpasidaan sa mga residente bahin sa social distancing. Ang kinahanglan man gyud unta ang responsibilidad sa matag usa diha sa kaugalingon nga kinahanglan gyod ipatuman ang distancing. Sa karon nahapsay na ang paghatag og gate pass sa mga nagtrabaho ug dunay mga essentials nga gimbuhaton (We are regularly reminding the residents about their responsibility on social distancing, as of 1:05 p.m. today, (July 21) the issuance of gate pass has already become organized for those who are working and for those who have to do necessary stuff outside)," Aguilar said in a phone interview with Superbalita Davao on July 21.

Meanwhile, in an advisory posted on the barangay's official Facebook page, it denied that the policy to require residents to have themselves listed and secure passes did not come from them.

The barangay said the guidelines are coming from the police.

"Kame sa barangay gituman namo ang kinahanglanon sundon nga protocols para sa kaayuhan sa among residente [sic] (We, the barangay officials, are just following instructions given to us for the safety of our residents," it said.

It added, "Gusto gyud namo nga makagawas mo on time pero atoang police naa pud sila'y sariling protocols nga gipa-tuman alang sa residente sa barangay 23-C. (As much as we want everyone to go out on time, however, our police officials have their protocols for the residents of Barangay 23-C)."

The barangay, meanwhile, assured everyone that they will not be selective to those who can go out.

SunStar Davao and Superbalita Davao tried to get additional information from Barangay 23-C Captain Alimoden Usman but he cannot be reached and has not responded to our queries.


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