Cebu City puts up border control as it enters ‘general community quarantine’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Those who will be accessing Cebu City starting today, March 15, 2020, may need to present proof that they are residing or working in the city.
This as Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella declared a general community quarantine as a means to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), that will last up to 30 days.
Doing so, Labella issued and signed Executive Order (EO) No. 52 series of 2020.
Cebu remains free of confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of March 15, 2020.
“Let us not wait for the time when there will be a confirmed case here in Cebu City. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure,” Labella said.
The national government’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IAFT-EID), the decision-making body on the COVID-19 situation, defines general community quarantine as “a condition where movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work; and uniformed personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points.”
Labella said the declaration of a ‘general community quarantine’ was to, primarily, discourage residents in Cebu City to go out of their homes unless important circumstances compel them.
But aside from keeping the public to stay indoors as much as possible, Labella’s EO also paved way for health checkpoints, with the assistance of law enforcers, on the city’s entry points.
With this, Labella called on workers in Cebu City, who are staying beyond the city’s jurisdiction to bring their company ID or any document to prove their itinerary.
“(This also applies) to anyone who will be visiting Cebu City for urgent matters,” he added.
Labella said the city’s new EO would adopt the guidelines found on the recent EOs issued by the Cebu Provincial government, the highlight of which would ban the entry of domestic passengers from all destinations in the country.
EO No. 52 ordered to close seaports in the city for arriving passengers, except for cargo deliveries of essential goods, and the extension of class suspensions to April 14, 2020,
It also directed the implementation of a nine-hour curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. commercial establishments such as malls to limit their daily operational hours to 8 p.m. only.
House-to-house monitoring of individuals’ health conditions will also be conducted.
“Residents are also to expect temporary closures of road as the necessity and conditions require,” Labella said.
The mayor, on the other hand, assured the public that the government’s operations would not be disrupted, and urged members of the private sector to adopt flexible hours./dbs
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