Dagupan’s GCQ status questioned
WITHOUT HEIGHTENED RESTRICTIONS
THE upgrading of Dagupan City’s status as General Community Quarantine (GCQ) “without heightened restrictions” prompted questions at the Dagupan Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) why Pangasinan’s GCQ was authorized “with heightened restrictions” and Dagupan City was not.
The question was raised by Majority Floor Leader Michael Fernandez in SP’s Tuesday’s session and Dr. Ofelia Rivera , focal persons for COVID-19 in the city, was asked to explain.
Fernandez noted that Rivera’s report indicated that Dagupan’s situation is as grim as in Pangasinan with 3,086 confirmed cases while Dagupan City alone had 2,844 since the pandemic started.
Worse, Rivera added the Region 1 Medical Center and other private hospitals can no longer accommodate new cases citing a report that it has more than 200 COVID-19 patients on waiting list (47 for the Intensive Care Unit) while private hospitals have from 30 to 65 patients on waiting list.
Rivera affirmed that the surge of cases in the city and in the region warranted the upgrading of the city to color red or under Alert Level 4, therefore GCQ.
Neither Rivera. nor any of the councilors ventured to explain and clarify but city hall observers told The PUNCH the reason the national IATF did not direct the heightened restrictions in Dagupan City was because Mayor Brian Lim did not request for it while Gov. Amado Espino III specifically asked for it.
But it was clarified by the observers that heightened restrictions can still be initiated by the city government on its own if the mayor cites these in an executive order.
The city council, however, did not file a resolution seeking clarification from Mayor Lim about plans to impose heightened restrictions in the city. (Leonardo Micua)
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