MANILA, Philippines – Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto said on Monday, April 27, he would impose stricter measures after the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine “flattened the curve” of the coronavirus outbreak in his city.
So start on Monday, May 4, the local government will implement the “barangay coding” scheme in all establishments in the city.
Under this measure, residents from 10 barangays a day will be allowed to go to establishments. They will be allowed to buy what they need, such as food from groceries and other stores, twice a week. The clusters will be based on each barangay’s population.
A dry run will begin on Thursday, April 30.
This scheme is patterned after the barangay coding at the Pasig Mega Market, which Sotto noted has lessened the number of shoppers, thus promoting physical distancing.
Sotto said the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the city would distribute permits that would take the place of the barangay-issued quarantine passes. Households will have these PNP-issued passes before Monday.
Sotto said the city government observed that, despite having the mobile markets from which residents could buy food, there were still several people going to stores.
City officials found out that there are residents who use buying food – purchasing just an item or two – as an excuse to go out of their homes.
Sotto said allowing these people to still go out every day defeats the purpose of containing the spread of the virus.
He said that Pasig must be able to sustain its gains in terms of slowing down the infection rate, or flattening the COVID-19 curve.
“This is good news, but this good news comes with being more circumspect. We will be stricter,” Sotto said in a Facebook Live on Monday.
“Pasigueños need to make small sacrifices to speed up our quarantine. Exercise social distancing. We do not know until when this [pandemic] would last. With social distancing, the infection rate will go down and the sooner that we could go back to normal,” Sotto said in Filipino.
Sotto said that, recently, Pasig City recorded 5 to 10 coronavirus cases a day, compared to the bigger numbers recorded in the early days of the outbreak.
“Of course, we want to have zero [cases], but if we look at it from a medical or scientific perspective, this is good news because, if the [infection rate] is exponential, we should be seeing a dozen, 30, 50, or 60 new cases a day,” Sotto said.
As of Monday, Pasig has 305 coronavirus cases, of whom 79 have recovered and 55 died.