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Cebu province remains under GCQ but gears up for MGCQ

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | May 30,2020 - 07:57 PM
Meeting with mayors in Cebu province on May 30, 2020 | Screenshot via Sugbo News

Meeting with mayors in Cebu province on May 30, 2020 | Screenshot via Sugbo News

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Local governments in Cebu province are now preparing to relax further its quarantine restrictions.

The Cebu Provincial government on Saturday, May 30, convened all mayors to discuss preparations needed for the transition from a General Community Quarantine (GCQ) to a Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia also announced during the gathering that she would be making an appeal before the national government’s anti-coronavirus task force to further ease the province’s quarantine measures.

“I intend to appeal that because this is not what the province intends to do. Di ta magpabilin nga GCQ (We cannot remain under General Community Quarantine). We should move on to the next level and beyond that because we’re ready for that,” Garcia told the mayors.

The governor on Friday, May 29 called a ‘consultative meeting’ in anticipation of the province’s move to downgrade its GCQ status to MGCQ after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on May 28 reclassified its risk-level.

READ MORE: Gwen to convene mayors again as Cebu Province prepares for MGCQ

However, on Saturday, the IATF – MEID issued its latest resolution, declaring the entire Cebu island under GCQ. It effectively approved the request of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella for the province’s capital to downgrade its enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status.

As a result, Cebu province remained under GCQ until further notice from the national government.

READ MORE: IATF Oks request to put Cebu City under GCQ

Plans

During the meeting, the mayors agreed that in the event the IATF-MEID will heed Garcia’s request, the transition to MGCQ will take effect on June 12, Independence Day.

Now that Cebu City will be under GCQ this June 1, they also raised the possibility of lifting several rules pertaining to border controls, foregoing some checkpoints, and allowing several individuals, particularly workers in the capital but residing in the province, to do cross-border travels.

Garcia said the Capitol would be preparing an executive order (EO) to lay down guidelines needed for cross-boundary travels.

Meanwhile, tourism and other leisure activities, and public gatherings may be allowed under MGCQ but subject to several health protocols. With this, Garcia said they would be meeting the mayors again to discuss the regulation of tourism sites.

Public transportation in Cebu province, on the other hand, has resumed since May 20 when the IATF allowed it to ease lockdown measures.

But Garcia and the mayors agreed that terminals for buses covering the northern and southern portions of the province should remain at Consolacion and Lantaw in South Road Properties (SRP) respectively for the meantime.

Cebu province has been placed under lockdown and imposed strict border controls for more than one month due to rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Cebu City.

As of May 29, it has recorded a total of 147 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 14 deaths and seven recoveries.

The figures include those from the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), which is located a stone’s throw away from Cebu City Jail where more than 300 COVID-19 patients are found. / dbs

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