Ecija park closed, 1K visitors sent home
AT least 51 residents of Quezon City who attended an improvised pool party and drinking session in one of the city’s barangays have tested positive for COVID-19.
Based on the report of the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), a total of 610 residents were swabbed as a result of this superspreader and among these, 18 are still awaiting their results while 31 are already admitted in several of the city’s HOPE facilities.
The said residents were among those who attended the said events that took place separately during the second week of May in Barangay Nagkaisang Nayon.
In view of this Mayor Joy Belmonte said that those who organized the said events may be charged with violation the provisions of Republic Act 11332 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern” and will be issued city ordinance violation receipt (OVR).
“Lahat ng mga mapapatunayang lumabag sa ating guidelines at mga ordinansa lalo na ‘yung mga nagkukumpulan at nag-iinuman o nagka-karaoke ay iisyuhan ng ordinance violation receipt (OVR) at maaaring makasuhan sa ilalim ng RA 11332,” said Belmonte.
“Kailangan pa rin ng ibayong pag-iingat at paghihigpit dahil nananatili pa rin ang peligrong hatid ng COVID-19 sa paligid,” she said.
The community was placed under lockdown since May 14.
Meanwhile, Belmonte tasked the City Legal Department to conduct anninvestigation against the concerned barangay officials to find out if they failed to fulfill their responsibilities as persons in authority.
Upon the directive of the mayor pursuant to Section 481.B.3.IV of the Local Government Code, the City Legal Department has issued a show cause order to the Punong Barangay.
“We will investigate the local officials for possible administrative neglect or misconduct,” said City Legal Officer Attorney Orlando Paolo Casimiro.
Belmonte further urged residents to report similar violations of quarantine protocols to the local government.
“We encourage the public to take photos and videos whenever possible, and report to us by calling our Hotline 122. We assure them that we will take swift action as this is a matter of protecting the health and safety of the whole city,” said Belmonte.
Ecija park ordered closed
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 residents and guests who gathered at the Minalungao National Park were immediately sent home after a surprise police inspection led by Nueva Ecija police director Col. Jaime O. Santos was conducted at the said tourist destination amid reports that rampant violations of social distancing and other health and safety protocols were committed in the site on Saturday morning in General Tinio, Nueva Ecija.
After validating that the report was true, Col. Santos said he immediately ordered the temporary closure of the said national park and the filing of appropriate charges against its owners and operators by the local police.
Santos said the operations were conducted upon direct orders from the Nueva Ecija Inter-Agency Task Force headed by Gov. Aurelio M. Umali and in compliance to a town executive order prescribing the COVID-19 health protocols during a one-month period starting from April 27 until May 27, 2021.
On his live FB post, the provincial police director was seen holding a megaphone screaming out orders to everybody in the area, including those still swimming in the waters to vacate the area immediately and that once the park gates are closed those caught remaining inside will be dealt with accordingly.
During the raid which was conducted at 10 a.m., Santos said his men could no longer find the park owner and its operator except for Romulo Hufana, 61, of Sitio Bayukbok, Bgy. Pias who was nabbed for violations of Republic Act 11332.
“Upon arrival, we found out that numerous people inside the said resort were gathered at the park despite the existence of a municipal IATF guideline ordering all tourist attractions within the town to temporarily suspend operations due to a surge of COVID-19. The raiding team advised those visitors to go home in order to avoid the spreading of COVID-19 virus,” explained Santos.
A visitor who made a booking prior to coming here, lamented the park’s reservation and entry regulations.
“Nandyan po kami kahapon, may booking po kami. pero nag papa walk in naman pala sila. Sayang bayad! Ang sabe limited lang po kami dyan, pero pagdating don napakadaming tao lahat pinapapasok kesyo nakakaawa daw at malalayo pa pinanggalingan kahit walang booking. And sa mga agent wala silang masabe kundi maghintay na lang umalis yung mobile para makapag swimming pa kami pero pag tinatanong namin pano naman po kung mahuli kami dito sa loob, wala na daw silang sagot samin pero yung bayad namin hindi makatarungan,” said the visitor. By CORY MARTINEZ & STEVE GOSUICO