Filipino actors

Gerald Anderson’s quarantine exemption in Dipolog draws flak

Antonio Manaytay

GERALD ANDERSON. The actor, seen here at the ABS-CBN Ball in 2019, draws flak for allegedly receiving special treatment over quarantine rules in Dipolog City.

Rob Reyes/Rappler

The actor and his group stayed in Dipolog City from August 26 to August 30 to shoot a movie

Quarantine-fatigued residents took turns in criticizing authorities in Dipolog City for allegedly giving actor Gerald Anderson special treatment when he came over to shoot a movie.

Residents took to social media and questioned why Anderson and his group were not subjected to a 14-day quarantine, a requirement in both the city and Zamboanga del Norte province where the actor and his group shot moviescenes.

Based on Zamboanga del Norte Governor Roberto Uy’s executive order issued on August 14, people entering the province, vaccinated or not, are subject to mandatory quarantine of 14 days.

The order only exempted the following: an authorized person outside residence (APOR) whose official business does not exceed 48 hours, those delivering essential items, and others with indispensable travels that do not exceed 48 hours.

Dipolog City set the same rules and public health protocols.

When Anderson’s photo without a face mask and face shield in public circulated on social media, netizens questioned what to them was a double standard in the implementation of public health rules.

Netizen Melchar Gumoos ranted, “Para walay kwarantin, pag artista na lang (Be an actor so you won’t be required to go on quarantine).”

Another, Arthur Parilla, pointed out that ordinary people were being reprimanded for not wearing face masks in the city and province.

Lawyer Arvin Bonbon, head of the Dipolog task force’s Incident Command System (ICS) said Anderson and his group were exempted from mandatory quarantine because they complied with requirements.

Anderson and his entire production team, the lawyer said, had coordinated with the ICS and presented documents.

Bonbon said all of them submitted their RT-PCR test results that showed they were COVID-19-free, their travel order, and their itinerary.

Anderson and his group stayed in Dipolog City from August 26 until August 30.

Bonbon said several members of the production team were caught without face masks, and they were fined. He did not say if Anderson was one of them.

But the actor, according to Bonbon, was allowed to remove his face mask during the actual shoot and in between takes.

He assured that safety measures were undertaken and no local was “in direct contact with him” during those times.

Zamboanga del Norte has recorded three cases of the Delta variant on Saturday, August 29.

As of August 31, the province has logged 53 new COVID-19 cases or a total of 5,584 since 2020. It has 437 active cases as of this posting. – Rappler.com

Antonio Manaytay is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship