Leonardia: The quarantine may be extended past April 14
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia has signed an executive order placing the city under an enhanced community quarantine effective Monday, March 30, and will run until April 14. In a press conference yesterday, the mayor said the enhanced quarantine seeks to limit the movement of people in the city in an effort to combat the coronavirus disease, or Covid-19.
He explained, during that period, public transportation will be suspended except for shuttle services provided for healthcare workers and frontliners. In addition, barangays will be allowed to use service vehicles to shuttle constituents for the purpose of purchasing food and other essentials.
Private vehicles will still be permitted to operate but strict social distancing must be observed.
The mayor also noted, the city government will be operating with a skeleton crew while non-essential government services will be on a “work-from-home arrangement.”
Additionally, while non-essential businesses are ordered shuttered during the period, businesses providing health services, food and medicine production, public markets, grocery stores, convenience stores, supermarkets,banks, and gasoline stations will be permitted to remain open.
Meanwhile, hotels and restaurants are allowed to continue operating but they must limit service to room service and take-out orders.
Those found in violation of the quarantine will be issued cease and desist orders.
Leonardia also said the movement of cargo, particularly basic and prime commodities, must continue unhampered.
The mayor also warned, depending on the situation at the end of the quarantine period, it may be extended further.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson earlier signed an executive order placing the entire province under an enhanced community quarantine, which takes effect Monday, March 30, and runs until April 14.
Under the quarantine, only one member of each household will be provided a quarantine pass by their respective barangay, which will allow them to visit the supermarket.
He insisted, “It will be normal.”
Supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks will remain open.
In addition, Lacson advised residents to shop “normally.”
“Buy normal consumption the way you do it on normal days,” he added.
Barangay officials will be responsible for handing out the quarantine passes throughout their respective jurisdictions, which the provincial official emphasized, should be free. Bearers of the pass are limited to purchasing food, medicine, and other necessities and, with public transportation suspended, must also be able to operate their own vehicle.
Additionally, those exempt from the enhanced community quarantine include medical and emergency personnel, police, soldiers, delivery personnel, utilities personnel, media, public officials, private company employees, the judiciary, and those working at the province’s agricultural mills and food industry.
Those exempt must also carry government-issued identification./DGB, WDJ