BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Bacolod City is effectively placed under General Community Quarantine starting tomorrow, 1 October until the end of the month through Executive Order 63 signed by Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
Salient points in the E.O. are: the indispensable need for a strict home quarantine in all households; the limited public and private transportation; the limited business/exercise of profession/ employment; the limited movements of people into and out of the City unless for essential purposes; the presence of uniformed personnel/force multipliers in strategic areas for safety and regulation ;
calculated measures imposed upon the citizens for public health, safety, and welfare like the mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, frequent hand-washing; restrictions on leisure and recreation outside the home; the continued imposition of curfew hours; and the curtailment of activities that attract social and large gatherings.
Home Quarantine Passes, as well as posting of check-up points are suspended.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION WITHIN THE CITY
Public transportation shall be allowed on a limited capacity under guidelines of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and shall be operated under a valid and unexpired franchise; an insurance coverage for the passengers and/or for a third party liability; and roadworthy public utility vehicles (PUVs).
The “No Go” policy is still on which means public transport will not be allowed to operate unless the driver or passengers wear masks, alcohol or disinfectant are readily provided to the passengers, and social distancing is strictly observed.
Passengers must be seated in a space of two passengers apart horizontally with marks drawn on the seat specifying where the passengers are to sit on.
For taxi cabs or automobile PUVs, only two passengers shall be allowed to be transported on the back seat only, with no passengers at the front seat.
For tricycles PUVs, only one passenger shall be seated at the front of the sidecar, and another one at the back. No back rides behind the driver will be allowed.
The drivers and passengers must wear masks at all times, and the operators/drivers must frequently clean and sanitize their PUVs.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BY MARITIME AND AVIATION COMPANIES
The other mode of public transportation of commuters/passengers by air or sea shall be subject to the existing guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Inter-LGUs health and travel protocols on the basis of inter-zonal or intra-zonal transport of passengers and cargoes, including inter-island travel between Bacolod City and other LGUs within or outside of Region 6, shall remain in full force and effect subject to modifications.
The City Government of Bacolod shall continue to provide essential government services for the duration of the GCQ. Thus, work in certain offices of the City Government shall be in full operational capacity.
The following departments, offices, and ad hoc bodies are considered “essential” shall operate in full capacity while observing the wearing of masks and social distancing measures: Office of the City Mayor; Office of the City Administrator; City Health Office; Department of Social Services & Development;
City Budget Office; City Accountant ‘s Office (to include the MASO); City Treasurer ‘s Office; MITCS Office; Human Resource Management Services IO, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office; City Legal Office; City Assessor’s Office; POSO Office; Public Information Office, Bids and Awards Committee; Bacolod Traffic Authority Office; Department of Public Services; City Engineer ‘s Office; Barangay Offices; City Inter-Agency Task Force Against COVID-19; Core Groups for Anti-COVID-19 Campaign, and .Action Teams for Anti-COVID-19 Campaign.
The Office of the Vice Mayor may opt for full capacity work or to maintain its skeleton work measures necessary for the continuity of operations and efficient delivery of legislative services, with the observance of basic health protocols of social distancing and wearing of face masks at all times.
Other City Government Services not enumerated under “essential” shall operate on a work-from home arrangement, at the direction of their respective department heads.
Personnel working under a work-from-home arrangement shall be required to maintain a daily time record of all tasks performed during the workday.
However, the Department/Office Heads, Assistant Department/Office Heads (ADOH), and those immediately next in rank from the ADOH of these other City Government departments shall report at all working days and to complete the required 40-hours work per week.
Business sectors and industries classified as Category I, Category II, and Category III under the “Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines with Amendments as of July 16, 2020” shall be allowed to operate at their respective percentage of operations (prescribed for each type of business from a low of 30% to full capacity at 100%).
Businesses under Category IV and DTI’s Negative List are NOT ALLOWED to operate under GCQ: and these are: language, driving, dance/acting/voice schools; entertainment industries (e.g. traditional cinemas, theaters, etc.); libraries, archives, museums and cultural centers; tourist destinations (e.g. water parks, beaches, resorts); full body massage; tattoo and body piercing; Live events (subject to DOT guidelines on Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions & Business Events (MICE Events);
Holding of traditional cockfighting & operation of cockpits; beerhouses & similar establishments whose primary business is serving of alcoholic drinks (e.g. nightclubs); kid amusement industries (e.g. playrooms, rides).
Travel agencies, tour operators, reservation service and related activities, although under Category IV, are allowed to operate under GCQ provided that these are staffed only by the skeleton crew, and will operate only to do administrative works such as the processing of refunds and payments to suppliers.
Restaurants and fast food businesses can now offer dine-in services effective at 50% space capacity in areas under GCQ.
SUNDAY CLOSURE OF THREE MAJOR PUBLIC MARKETS IN BACOLOD CITY
Until further advice, the three major public markets — the Central Market, Burgos North Market, and the Libertad South Market — shall be closed on Sundays for cleaning and sanitation in observance of health protocols and public safety.
BUSINESS OF MALLS AND COMMERCIAL CENTERS
Malls and commercial centers under GCQ shall be allowed to operate at 50% capacity as a CATEGORY III BUSINESS/INDUSTRY, except for leisure establishments and services which shall remain closed.
Malls and shopping center operators are required to comply with the minimum health standards.
Businesses dealing in the essential goods and services sectors as well as those engaged in providing prime commodities such as supermarkets, public and private wet markets, grocery stores, agri-fishery supply stores, veterinary supply stores, pharmacies, drug stores and other retail establishments under similar business engagements are strongly encouraged to extend their daily store operations to a maximum of 12 hours convenient to both the customers and the proprietors, provided that policies on minimum health protocols, curfew, partial liquor ban, and other measures for public health and safety shall remain imposable at all times.
ACADEMICS/EDUCATION SECTORS/SCHOOLS CONCERNS
Face-to-face or in-person classes shall be suspended for the duration of the GCQ. The education sectors or schools under the DepEd may hold classes according to the modalities and methodologies provided by its policy.
Higher Education Institutions (HEis) may hold classes through flexible learning arrangements to finish the Academic Year, and may operate at a limited capacity to receive students’·requirements and prepare and issue credentials to students subject to the guidelines as may be issued by the Commission on Higher Education.
PROHIBITION ON MASS GATHERINGS
Mass gatherings are prohibited, such as, but not limited to movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities heretofore mentioned, community assemblies, fiesta celebrations, parades, rallies, public marches, non-essential work gatherings, or any other form of public or private gatherings endangering public health or health of the participants, etc.
On the other hand, religious gatherings may be allowed but shall be limited to not more than ten (10) persons, until otherwise modified through subsequent issuances of the IATF.
Gatherings that are for the provision of critical government services and authorized humanitarian activities, while adhering to the prescribed minimum health standards, shall be allowed.
CONTINUING HEALTH MEASURES
The Bacolod City Health Office and the respective barangays through their Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) shall continue their efforts in coordinating with the Department of Health and other allied government agencies in performing their tasks with regard COVID-19 suspects/patients as mandated under DILG
All health workers in both the barangays and the city shall strengthen preventive measures to ensure that the necessary monitoring systems are in place, especially the immediate reporting of all COVID-19 suspects/patients in their respective barangays, and to recommend, among others, the proper measures to declare ultra-risk quarantine (lockdown) on particular areas/zones in the City or to impose the mandatory quarantine of individuals; and to assist in contact tracing within their barangays.
To allow workers and employees enough time to commute home after work without having to crowd public transport terminals and city streets to pick-up their rides home that would violate social distancing rules, the daily curfew to be observed by the general public from 1 October to 31 October 2020 shall be from 10:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M.
Exemptions shall be made for public emergencies like fire/ambulance services/other occasions caused by disaster/calamity; those requiring medical assistance on board ambulances/PUV s or private vehicles; those working the night shifts in essential private establishments; media practitioners; and those government officials and employees/frontliners, including those from the Philippine National Police (PNP), whose work may extend to within aforesaid curfew period by reason of the current state of public health emergency.
Those who will claim exemption from aforesaid curfew hours should be able to present, upon spot-check by PNP mobile patrol units, acceptable personal and/or company identification cards to prove that they belong to aforesaid groups under exemption.
The ban on the selling of liquor, wine, beer, or any alcoholic or intoxicating beverage is pa rtially lifted and shall be allowed from 12 P.M. to 6 P.M. only, subject to the strict observance of social distancing and other mandatory health protocols.
The consumption of alcoholic beverages, however, shall be allowed only within private residences. Drinking beyond the premises of the house, along alleys, and sidewalks; and in any public place, such as but not limited to restaurants, bars, convenience stores, and sari-sari stores is prohibited. Any person, entity, or establishment found to be in violation of the provisions of this EO shall be meted sanctions, including but not limited to suspension, revocation of its business permit or license, and/or closure; or in the case of unlawful consumption, possible arrest and the filing of criminal charges for violation of Republic Act No. 11332 or any other applicable law or ordinance.
ENFORCEMENT OF LOCALIZED LOCKDOWNS
In the event of positive detection of COVID-19 infection that may endanger the lives of the citizens in a specific barangay or locality or clusters of barangays or localities, barangays are authorized to identify and seal off ultra-risk areas during the period of this GCQ for the safety and general welfare of the community.