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Davao City Implements Strict 'District Clustering,' Hunger Games Comparisons Ensue

The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) has also set up 22 checkpoints in the city.
IMAGE Wikimedia Commons (LEFT), Courtesy of Breech Asher Harani (RIGHT)

As the number of COVID-19 cases inch closer to 100 in Davao City, certain areas have been divided into district clusters, limiting the movement of food and medicine (FM) pass holders to essential establishments within their cluster. These stricter measures are in place to prevent the continuous spread of the virus, according to Mayor Sara Duterte. As of writing, Davao City has 92 recorded cases of COVID-19, with 16 deaths and 48 recoveries.

The system was implemented on April 20, with a total of six identified clusters:

  • CLUSTER 1: Districts of Poblacion A and B, Talomo:
  • CLUSTER 2: Agdao District
  • CLUSTER 3: Buhangin District
  • CLUSTER 4: Toril District
  • CLUSTER 5: Districts of Calinan, Baguio, Marilog, Tugbok and some barangays of Paquibato
  • CLUSTER 6: District of Bunawan and some barangays of Paquibato and the Island Garden City of Samal

The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) has also set up 22 checkpoints in the city, 12 of which are in identified hotspots Buhangin and Talomo districts. (via byahengdo30.com)

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Following the announcement, netizens have taken to social media to share their reactions to the news. Some applauded the government's efforts and echoed their plea in asking citizens to follow the clustering, while others have shared that the system and its quick implementation limited their access to shops and groceries that carry their needs, or products more suited to their respective budgets.

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Many were quick to note comparisons to The Hunger Games and even Game of Thrones. Check out these emblems created by Forbes Asia's 30 Under 30 Awardee, Breech Asher Harani.

SunStar Davao also reported the emergence of a Facebook group called Davao Cluster War (Tambal Kamingaw) and compiled their funniest posts here.

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According to the City Government of Davao Facebook page, here are the rules for following the clustering system:

  • The FM pass of residents of a barangay can only be used in the wet market/palengke, pharmacy and grocery stores inside their District Cluster. Residents cannot go out of their cluster unless they are ECQ exempted because of work
  • The FM pass can only be used to travel to another cluster when the medicine prescribed by the Doctor is not available in their cluster
  • Except for emergencies, the travel to a hospital outside of a resident's cluster shall be decided by the frontliner at the checkpoint. The same shall apply to those going to the bank
  • District Clustering will be implemented in tandem with the FM pass coding
  • FM pass cannot be used on a Sunday. FM pass cannot be used during curfew of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Emergencies do not need an FM pass

As for the coding scheme which was implemented on April 18, FM passes with control numbers starting with numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 are only allowed to go out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while those control numbers starting with even numbers 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 are only allowed to go out on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. (via SunStardavaocity.gov.ph)

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For the latest news and updates on COVID-19, check out reportr.world/covid-19.

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Ysabel Y. Yuzon
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