After May 15, what ‘new normal’ awaits Cebu?

By: Rosalie Abatayo - CDN Digital | April 29,2020 - 09:13 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — With the expected “graduation” from the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on May 15, 2020 as recommended by Malacañang, what “new normal” awaits Cebu?

The Capitol said its ideal direction after the ECQ will providing job opportunities in the countryside and self-sufficiency in food production.

Read: Modified quarantine eyed to restart economy

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia announced that a Task Force New Normal will be convened to set new guidelines of living when the province would move forward after the coronavirus crisis.

These guidelines, she said, would take into account the lessons learned by the province within the would-be over three months of pandemic and economic crises.

Read: Capitol to focus on Enhanced Countryside Development after ECQ is lifted

Prior to the pandemic and ECQ, the travel, tourism and hospitality industry had been the bread and butter of Cebu’s economy. This sector has also been the one gravely paralyzed by the health crisis.

Basdaku White Beach, one of the visited beaches in Moalboal, is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus threat and the ongoing enhanced community quarantine in Cebu province. CDN Digital photo | Raul Constantine Tabanao

Task Force New Normal, which Garcia will chair as governor, will be composed of representatives from the business sector, and government agencies concerned on Health, Agriculture, Labor, Trade and Industry and the transportation and tourism sector.

“Cebu should be self-sufficient [in food production]. It will no longer be acceptable that we run around looking for rice and corn supplies to feed Cebu,” Garcia said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

Mobility of employees

Garcia added that the provincial government will focus its energies in providing job opportunities outside in the towns and cities outside Cebu City.

Aside from food security, among the challenges faced by the province and the business sector during the ECQ is the mobility of employees who are working in Cebu City but residing in other towns or cities under the province.

With Cebu City making up over 90 percent of the entire coronavirus cases in Central Visayas, the province has earlier declared to shut its borders from the independent city.

“Moabot ang panahon nga kita kinahanglan mobarog na usab ug only when we adjust so we can adapt. Dawaton ta nga nausab atong kinabuhi, mo-adjust ta sa atong kinabuhi,” Garcia said.

(Time will come that we will have to rise again and only when we adjust that we would be able to adapt. Let us accept that our lives have been changed and adjust in living it.)

“Let us define the new normal aron maka-adapt kita sa bag-o: Nabag-o nga kalibutan, nabag-o nga probinsya, nabag-o nga kinabuhi,” she added.

(Let us define the new normal so we can adapt to the new: A new world, a new province, a new life.)

Garcia said the Task Force, however, will be inviting more agencies and representations as it moves along after the ECQ would be lifted. /bmjo

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TAGS: Cebu‬, ECQ, graduation, lifting, new normal

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