DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Wednesday that government officials should lead by example in following health and safety protocols to prevent COVID-19 transmissions.
“Government officials must take the lead, lead by example. If the government official is invited to an event, but he or she cannot ensure that minimum health standards will be implemented during the event, it will be best if this government official will just decline to attend,” Malaya said in an online forum.
“Government officials are under a microscope. Our people expect public officials to comply with minimum health standards. If government officials fail to comply, how can we expect the public to comply? That is why it is very important for us to lead by example,” Malaya added.
Palace spokesperson Harry Roque and Senator Manny Pacquiao were being investigated by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) as images circulated online that people who attended their respective events failed to practice social distancing.
Roque explained that he was just invited as a guest and that the local government organized the event. He added he had no control over the number of attendees and insisted he urged the people to obey health protocols.
Gov’t officials must lead by example – DILG exec
Malaya said the police would investigate any violation of quarantine protocols.
DILG is also investigating Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who went to a hospital pending the result of his COVID-19 test, and former Metro Manila police chief and now Philippine National Police chief Police General Debold Sinas, who held a “mañanita” birthday, due to alleged violations of health protocols.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also told government officials to become role models in observing health and safety protocols because refusing to do so could confuse the public, making it harder to manage virus transmission.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that they continue to remind everyone to wear masks, practice hand hygiene and observe physical distancing.
“We expect leaders to be examples. We want leaders to be models. We want influencers to be models … [T]hey have to set the example,” Tedros said at a briefing in WHO’s headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday.