Capitol places more measures to restrict movement

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Reporter/CDN Digital | March 22,2020 - 03:27 PM

Lack of personnel and thermal scanners are hampering the operations of health checkpoints in Barangay Mabolo, the barangay in Cebu City which is closest to Mandaue City where the first positive case of COVID-19 was discovered. |CDN Digital photo /Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Aside from a 24-hour curfew for students and senior citizens, the Cebu Provincial government also ordered telecommuting arrangements for workers, and the suspension of outdoor activities, and other non-essential services.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on March 21, 2020, issued Executive Order (EO) No. 5-K which effectively put in place additional measures to curb the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The EO orders local government officials in the province to close several establishments where strict social distance cannot be followed starting at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

These include pubs, bars, internet cafes, video gaming arcades, gambling facilities, barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors, aesthetic centers, and related personal care services.

Home services offered by manicurists, masseuses, cosmetologists, aestheticians, were not spared also.

The Capitol likewise advised both businesses and non-profit organizations operating in Cebu to start practicing telecommuting or work-from-home for its employees.

“Each employer shall reduce the in-person workforce reporting at any of its work locations, branches, or offices by 50 percent,” the EO stated.

Those exempted from the in-person restrictions are entities providing essential services or functions such as health care, infrastructure including utilities, telecommunication, airports, transportation, manufacturing including food processing and pharmaceuticals, grocery stores and pharmacies, trash collection, mail, shipping services, and news and media.

These also include banks and related financial institutions, construction and related services, services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences, and logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

Outdoor activities, including those organized by the barangays such as sports competitions usually held in the village’s covered courts, are no longer allowed.

“All activities at the barangay level such as pageants, bingos, discos and any other activity participated by 10 or more persons are hereby prohibited,” it stated.

Barangay officials will be held liable for any violation made within their jurisdiction, the EO said.

The provincial government also directed that strict social distancing must be observed in terminals, public transport vehicles, in restaurants, carenderias, and similar establishments.

“Drivers and passengers taking public or private transport vehicles shall observe a one-seat apart rule, [and] no persons shall be allowed to backride on motorcycles,” the memo added.

24-hour curfew

Garcia announced in an earlier press conference that they would be implementing a ’24-hour curfew’ for students from pre-school to tertiary, and elderly persons age 65 years old and above in Cebu province.

The curfew, she said, would be intended for those vulnerable and susceptible to the disease to stay at home.

She said senior citizens seeking medical assistance or buying medicines would be exempted from the curfew, however, they must provide proof of their itinerary such as a medical certificate, and/ certificate of residence.

The Capitol exempted officials and employees of the government, frontline workers — health workers and hospital administrative staff both from the public and private sectors, and volunteers from emergency-response units.

They also encouraged all individuals to present identification cards on their way to work or during essential trips or activities outside their houses./dbs

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