Except for Talisay City, Mandaue City:GCQ kicks off across province
CEBU, Philippines — Save for Talisay City and Mandaue City, Cebu Province will be under general community quarantine starting today, May 20, until May 31, 2020.
Talisay City will be under modified enhanced community quarantine while Mandaue City remains under ECQ until March 31. The two are component cities of the province.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has already signed Executive Order 17, which provides for the protocols, standards, and guidelines for the province under GCQ.
Under the GCQ rules, residents still need to present quarantine passes to be able to go outside to report for work and/or access essential goods and services. Residents allowed to go outside must wear face masks, face shields, or other protective equipment.
All residents are still subject to curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Residents aged 21 years old and below, apart from those employed in necessary businesses along with those immunocompromised, will continue to be on 24-hour home quarantine.
They may be allowed to go out to avail of needed medical treatment.
Establishments following strict security and sanitation protocols will now be allowed to reopen. One meter of physical distancing between individuals should be observed at all times. The use of air conditioning is not allowed.
Malls cannot turn their wifi on so that people won’t loiter.
Gyms, fitness, sports and recreation centers, bars and pubs, karaoke houses, movie houses, swimming pools, cockpits, and other leisure establishments shall continue to be closed. This is because going outside for leisure activities is still prohibited under the GCQ.
Limited customer accommodation is also required for most establishments in the province. For example, hotels can only book one person per room while restaurants are only allowed 50 percent dine-in capacity.
Physical classes shall remain suspended in schools in the province. Operation of learning institutions shall be compliant to the guidelines to be established by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
For transportation, buses and minibuses will be allowed to operate in the province as subject to guidelines of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Operators allowed to travel must secure Provincial Public Utility Passes per unit from the provincial government.
Buses without air conditioning are preferred and should accommodate only 50 percent of the carrying capacity.
Tricycles and trisikads will be allowed to operate but can only ferry one passenger at a time.
Inter-island public marine transportation or travel between mainland Cebu, Bantayan Island, and Camotes Island will also resume but boats can accommodate only 50 percent of their carrying capacity.
Churches will be allowed to open but physical masses are still suspended. Those who wish to visit churches may do so while observing social distancing. Only three persons will be allowed per pew.
Meanwhile, because GCQ rules allow province residents to go to the beach from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CCPO) is ready to ensure this rule is followed, anticipating the number of people who may hit the beaches.
CPPO Director Roderick Mariano said beach resorts will be allowed to open but strict social distancing and wearing of masks are required. Tourist destinations, however, will remain closed and guarded.
“I think hindi pa ata yung ano kase kailangan pa nilang ayusin… di pa kase sinama yung gatherings… dapat less than 10 pa… di pa tayo makapag-open doon sa talagang tourist destination natin, especially yung mga tourist destinations natin, especially yung mga nangangailangan ng maraming tao kase hindi pa ina-allow yun under the GCQ,” Mariano said.
(Gatherings are not allowed yet… only less than 10 people are allowed so we can’t open the tourist destinations yet, especially the destinations where throngs of people go, because that’s not allowed under the GCQ.)
He said CPPO will recommend the closure of resorts that will violate the GCQ rules.
In earlier interviews, Garcia said it is time to put the economy of the province back on its feet. The decision to transition to GCQ, she emphasized, is based on scientific and empirical data.
Among the data she cited are the relatively low mortality rate in the province, that is 1 death to three million residents. As of May 15, the province recorded only eight deaths. Yesterday, it recorded four more, all are incidental or caused by pre-existing medical conditions.
Cebu Province has a population of 3.2 million.
The number of those who died from COVID-19 is way lower than the numbers of those who died from other illnesses. Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death with 1,075 deaths per one million residents as of 2018. This is followed by pneumonia with 465 cases per one million residents, cancer with 335 cases per one million residents, cerebrovascular diseases with 246 cases per one million residents, and diabetes mellitus with 117 cases per one million residents. JMO (FREEMAN)