Ordinances needed to enforce NCR restrictions on unvaccinated

Local government units (LGUs) comprising the Metro Manila Council (MMC) must issue ordinances to enforce the proposal to restrict movement by unvaccinated individuals.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said MMC Resolution 22-01 issued Monday and approved by the 17 mayors “is not legally effective.”

“Local legislative councils exercise police power delegated unto them by the local government code, which was enacted by Congress,” Guevarra told reporters via text message on Tuesday. “The delegated police power authorizes them to pass such ordinances as they shall deem to be for the welfare of their constituents.”

Local legislations are enforceable unless contested in courts.

“Are these measures reasonably necessary and not unduly oppressive upon individuals? Are these repugnant to the constitution? This is a matter for the courts to determine. Unless judicially restrained, however, these public health measures may actually be executed and enforced,” he said.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Benjamin Abalos Jr. said on Monday the resolution would apply “enhanced restrictions” to unvaccinated individuals to control the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and its variants.

The resolution is temporary and may be lifted once the National Capital Region (NCR) reverts to a lower status from the current Alert Level 3 that is effective until January 15.

The LGUs will mandate unvaccinated individuals to remain in their residences at all times except for the procurement of essential goods and services, such as food, water, medical services, and public utilities.

Individual outdoor exercise is allowed regardless of inoculation status, age, or comorbidities within “the general area of their residence,” subject to LGU guidelines.

Unvaccinated individuals are prohibited from indoor and outdoor dining in restaurants and other food establishments and leisure and social trips to malls, hotels, event venues, sports, and country clubs, and similar facilities.

They are also barred from public transportation via land, sea, and air except for the procurement of essential goods and services.

The resolution applies even to residents outside Metro Manila but work and/or travel to the NCR.

The MMC resolution cited Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Disease and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, which states that it is “the policy of the State to protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.”

Source: Philippines News Agency

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