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VG Lagman to national gov’t: Consult with LGUs first before coming up with COVID policies

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Albay Vice Governor Edcel Lagman has appealed to the national government to consult first with the local government in crafting coronavirus disease policies.

“The national government should not go it alone. It has to consult local governments in coming up with all policies related to stopping COVID-19,” said the Vice Governor.

Lagman said that since March 15 when the enhanced community quarantine was imposed, the inter-agency task force on coronavirus “has been making policy changes that have been quite arbitrary.”

“Remember that it has only been 4 days (or on 24 April ) when Albay was placed under extended ECQ until 15 May via PRRD’s decision to follow the recommendations of IATF. However, at around noon today, the IATF came up with Resolution No. 29 wherein Albay will be under general community quarantine (GCQ) starting May 1,” said Lagman.

“This caught the SPA by surprise because our planning in so far as ordinances relating to stopping COVID-19 in Albay was based on the extended ECQ or until 15 May,” he added.

Lagman also questioned the reasons for this change in classification from ECQ-GCQ.

“These reasons must be based on scientific data. These reasons should be given to us ASAP.”

He said that localgovernment face “extra burden” amid the “unexpected classification.”

“The SPA will be hard pressed to work with this unexpected classification change WITHOUT the scientific information how the change came about in the first place,” he said.

“I am fed up being bullied by the national government. It’s time that we assert basic rights here. The IATF should give all LGUs the reasons for any and all policy changes as soon as they decide on doing it,” Lagman concluded.