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520 violators; more people in malls on 1st day of GCQ in Cebu City

By: Alven Marie Timtim, Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporters - CDN Digital | August 01,2020 - 08:55 PM

Cebu City PROBE apprehended more than 500 violators on the first day of the General Community Qauarantine on August 1, 2020. | Photo Courtesy of PROBE

CEBU CITY, Philippines — More people were seen on the streets and the malls in Cebu City on the first day of the general community quarantine (GCQ).

The Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement (PROBE) team also apprehended 520 violators of the quarantine passes on Saturday, August 1, 2020.

PROBE Head Racquel Arce said they became overwhelmed by the number of violators that they had to reduce the penalty time for each batch from 8 hours to 5 hours to maintain social distancing.

“Dismayado gyod siyempre kay nagtuo man ta nga nakat-on na ang mga tawo atong pag ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine). Wala gyod, daghan gihapon nanggawas nga walay quarantine pass,” said Arce.

(Of course, we are disappointed because we thought people learned during the ECQ. They did not, a lot of them went out without quarantine passes.)

She said there might have been confusion as people thought that under the GCQ, there would be no need of quarantine passes.

Read more: 74 violators nabbed on 1st day of Cebu City’s GCQ

However, Mayor Edgardo Labella has decided to keep the quarantine passes to limit the movement of the people in the city.

Most violators were not bringing their passes or violated the number coding. Only passes ending in even numbers and zero are allowed to go out on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Passes ending in odd numbers may go out on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.

Read more: Use of Cebu City’s Q passes still a must under GCQ

Arce urged the public to bring their passes when they would go out or else they would be apprehended.

“Di naman kaha ta ganahan mobalik sa ECQ? (We don’t want to go back to ECQ, right?)” said Arce.

Not only the PROBE complained of the sudden influx of people outside their homes, but malls were reportedly flocked with people as well.

A shopper, who refused to be named, told CDN Digital that a mall in a northern barangay in Cebu City failed to implement social distancing in the supermarket.

CDN Digital chose not to reveal the establishment as the Business Processing and Licensing Office (BPLO) is investigating the incident.

“Daghan gyod kaayog tawo unya taas ang linya, wala na gyod nagbantay ang mga tawo sa ilang palibot. (They were so many people and the line was long and people no longer cared what happened around them),” said the shopper.

The BPLO said it would look into the reports and reminded the malls that there could only be a limited number of people inside the establishments.

Lawyer Jared Limquiaco, BPLO head, urged the public to report any establishment violating the social distancing protocol especially if the area would already be dangerously overcrowded.

“Palihug ireport sa atong mga hotline kay bawal gyod na nga magtapok o maghuot sulod sa mga malls. (Please report in our hotlines because crowding is not allowed in the malls),” said Limquiaco.

Major Juanito Alaras, Mabolo Police Station chief, said that there was no report of such crowding in any of the malls within their jurisdiction.

He said they had personnel also constantly patrolling near the malls under their station, and none of his personnel noticed malls were being flocked.

“Strict man pud sila sa Q pass dili magpa sulod kung wala (They are also strict in implementing the Q pass and they would not allow those without passes to enter),” said Alaras.

However, CDN Digital chanced upon a security check inside a separate mall still within the northern barangays of the city, and the security guards did not check the quarantine passes of the shoppers going inside.

“GCQ naman gud. Di na kailangan, (It is already GCQ, it is not necessary),” replied the security guard when asked.

A similar incident of crowding was also reported by a shopper in Barangay Mambaling in one of the supermarkets there.

Captain Renz Talosig, Mambaling Police chief, denied reports and said that the mall reported no such overcrowding, and social distancing was followed properly.

Talosig said that he had deployed personnel near each mall under the Mambaling Police Station’s jurisdiction to monitor the flow of traffic and observe the number of people going in and out of these malls.

“Para matuman nato ang atoang health protocols. Kay amo naman gi anticipate nga modaghan gyud ang manggawas tungod sa declaration sa GCQ. Dili na nato gusto nga mobalik ta balik sa ECQ. Ug ang mall management mismo nagpatuman pod og minimum health standards protocol dili lang kita. They are aware of it. Were just helping them to implement it as far as we could for the safety of the people/individuals,” said Talosig.

(So that we can implement our health protocols because we anticipate more people to go out because of the declaration of the GCQ. We don’t like to go back to ECQ and the mall management themselves are enforcing the minimum health standards protocol. They are aware of it. We are just helping them to implement as far as we could for the safety of people/individuals.)/dbs

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