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Masbate BM Arevalo: Unscrupulous pronouncements about lockdowns cause people to panic

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Masbate Senior Provincial Board Member Jason Arevalo asked local officials to refrain from making “unscrupulous pronouncements” about coronavirus disease lockdowns as it causes the public to panic.

“To our local leaders and people, please refrain from making pronouncements about imposing lockdowns in your areas. Under the guidelines set forth by the National Task Force against Covid 19, only the former has the authority to declare lockdowns motu proprio or upon the request or recommendation of the LGU concerned,” said the veteran legislator.

Arevalo said thatLGUs cannot unilaterally impose lockdowns in their respective jurisdiction without the approval of the IATF.

“There are certain variables that need to be factored in before a lockdown may be recommended such as, but not limited to the following, evidence of sustained community transmission and overwhelming of the public health system, especially critical care, among others,” he noted.

“Unscrupulous pronouncements only add up to the confusion and trigger people to resort to panic buying, hoarding of essential goods, and for retailers and suppliers to arbitrarily jack up their prices because thereof to our collective prejudice,” he added.

Arevalo also asked the public to only listen to credible sources like those issued by the Governor and municipal chief executives, the IATF and the DOH.

“In battling this pandemic, information plays a vital role. Let us do it right,” he noted.

Arevalo pointed out that Masbate has been fortunate as it was spared from the spike of COVID-19 at the onset of this pandemic and that as of now, the province should have learned lessons from other LGUs.

“Over three months sans any case, [thanks to the strict border patrol and other preventive and containment measures initiated by the Governor], we are given the opportunity to learn from the experiences of unlucky LGUs which registered Covid cases in their jurisdictions right after the first wave of returnees and repatriates,” he said.

“That said, our local leaders and people should have already been aware of the safety protocols and guidelines in the imposition of mitigation measures to stem the transmission of this viral menace,” he added.