Establishments divided on proposed one-way aisle measure
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Establishments in Cebu City are divided on the proposed ordinance in Cebu City to implement a one-way movement in supermarkets, groceries, and pharmacy aisles to reduce physical contact and maintain social distancing following the pandemic.
During the public hearing in the City Council’s regular session, La Nueva Supermarket expressed objection to the proposed ordinance of Councilor Leah Japson for the one-way movement in aisles.
The supermarket echoed the sentiments of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) stating that this regulation might not be suitable for all supermarkets.
La Nueva representative, Anna Gonzales, told the council that their supermarket did not have enough space to allow only one movement in the aisles.
Instead of maintaining the social distancing protocol, the one-way aisles will only cause further crowding during the lining up of the customers to pay at the cashiers.
“This does not reflect the purchasing habits of customers who do not shop by aisles, but by going directly to the rack of the product they want to buy,” said Gonzales.
This would also cause a negative shopping experience for customers who may want to quickly finish their purchase, reevaluate their options, and even in the act of spontaneous purchasing as the customers will not be able to easily return to the aisle of the product they want to buy.
“It will only ruin the customer’s shopping experience,” she added.
The supermarket is suggesting that the ordinance be tweaked to accommodate all types of establishments and consider the smaller supermarkets in the formulation of the final version of the legislation.
La Nueva Supermarket said that their establishment continued to uphold the minimum health protocols of the city and the Department of Health, and this particular ordinance might no longer be necessary.
However, Three Sixty Pharmacy and Gaisano Main expressed their support in the ordinance.
Gaisano Main, a relatively bigger grocery store than La Nueva, said that they had been successfully practicing the one-way movement in their aisles on top of the minimum health requirements of the government.
Donna Burgos, manager of Gaisano Main, said there had been no problems in their implementation and the passing of the legislation would only solidify the move that all establishments must contribute to the reduction of the risks for the spread of the virus.
“As of now we are already implementing the one-way path, follow social distancing, and control the customers going in the supermarket, which averages 50 customers per hour,” said Burgos.
Councilor Raymond Garcia expressed his concern that once the city would be downgraded to a new normal, this regulation proposed by Japson might no longer be applicable even to bigger supermarkets like Gaisano Main.
He said that if Gaisano Main only accommodates 50 customers per hour under the quarantine, more customers are expected under the new normal.
Three Sixty Pharmacy agreed with Gaisano Main that the proposed ordinance can be implemented.
Their branches are relatively smaller than that of La Nueva, but they claim to also follow the one-way movement for their aisles through rearranging the interiors of their pharmacies.
“We are already in compliance with DOH protocols. We think this ordinance is also good idea to prevent the COVID transmission,” said Victoria Dabuet, representing the pharmacy in the council.
Councilor Leah Japson said the recommendations of the supermarkets and the position papers of SM, Ayala, and the CCCCI will be taken into consideration in the formulation of the ordinance.
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