Mabalacat City imposes ’24-hour curfew,’ schedules grocery runs

Jun A. Malig
Mabalacat City imposes ’24-hour curfew,’ schedules grocery runs
Mabalacat City Mayor Crisostomo Garbo warns his constituents the police will send them home or file charges against them if they violate the restrictions

PAMPANGA, Philippines – The Mabalacat City government announced on Monday night, March 23, a “24-hour curfew” that set different schedules for residents of its 27 barangays to go out for groceries.

“Please be advised: Enhanced Community Quarantine Advisory. 24-hour Curfew starting 8:00 PM tonight, March 23, 2020. 24-hour curfew will be strictly enforced. As per City Government,” the city government announced on its Facebook page.

The curfew limited the grocery runs of its residents to a fixed schedule. Only persons with Home Quarantine Pass (HQP) from their respective barangays are allowed to go out.  

  • Monday and Thursday, 5 a.m. to 12 noon – residents of barangays Atlu Bola, Tabun, Bundagul, Sta. Maria, Cacutud, Dolores, Sapang Biabas, Bical, and San Joaquin 
  • Tuesday and Friday – residing of barangays San Francisco, Duquit, Mawaque, Dapdap, Calumpang, Marcos Village, Mangalit, and Poblacion
  • Wednesday and Saturday – residents of barangay Lakandula, Mabiga, Camachilles, Paralayunan, Sapang Balen, Sta. Ines, Macapaqgal Village, Sto. Rosario, and Mamatitang
  • Pending – residents of barangay Dau, the city’s biggest barangay, will wait for instructions from the barangay chairman

Mabalacat City Mayor Crisostomo Garbo told Rappler the restrictions were based on a provincial ordinance. “It is an Ordinance from the Province that is why we should follow,” he said.

Pampanga provincial administrator Charlie Chua said Governor Dennis Pineda did not issue any directive or executive order placing any area of the province under a “24-hour curfew” but he said Malacañang’s order to place Luzon in lockdown “technically” has the same effect.

Chua said the governor did not use a power the Sangguniang Panlalawigan earlier granted him to impose curfew. But he said Malacañang curfew supersedes all curfew orders. 

There were residents who complained that they have not received passes from their barangays. Garbo told them to wait for the barangay captains to issue them and explain the new restrictions.

“I’ll simplify it. Do not go out if it is not important like buying essential goods such as food and medicine. But only one member of a family will be named in the quarantine pass that they will give you. The only ones exempted [from this] are those whose jobs are approved by the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry],” the mayor said. 

“So starting tomorrow, if you get out, the police may warn you or send you home. Second offense, you may be charged,” the mayor said. 

The national government’s COVID-19 Inter-agency Task Force did not prescribe window hours for Luzon residents to go out of their homes for necessities. 

Other towns and cities have imposed different curfews.

Pampanga was placed under state of calamity on March 16 after it confirmed positive cases of coronavirus among its residents.

The province has cancelled various activities including the annual crucifixion reenactments scheduled in April. Clark and Subic free ports also shut doors to foreign and local tourists

The country’s confirmed cases of coronavirus rose to 501 by Tuesday morning, March 24, including 33 deaths and 19 recoveries. 

The global death toll has reached 15,189, with 5,476 of the fatalities in Italy and 3,270 in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau). 

The number of cases worldwide has risen to 341,300, with 81,093 cases in China and 59,138 cases in Italy. The virus has spread to 174 countries. – with a report from Agence France-Presse/

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