BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson has signed the Executive Order No. 20-20, effectively placing the entire province under Enhanced Community Quarantine from March 30 to April 14, or a period of 16 days.
As of press time, Bacolod City Administrator Em Ang told DNX that the city would “most probably adopt” the same measure in close coordination with the province.
Salient points of the ECQ are the following: suspension of mass transportation, distribution of ECQ pass to only one person per household, “no sail” policy for private or commercial vessels carrying passengers, closure of businesses except those essential ones.
Mass transportation will be suspended. The E.O. implements a “no sail policy” to all vessels carrying passengers including bancas, and yachts.
Banned mass transportation include: jeepneys, tricycles, taxis, V-hire, e-trikes, tricycles, trisikads, etc. Exemptions are vessels carrying cargo, whose passage shall remain unhampered. Cargo, fishing, and government vessels that transport basic food supplies and other materials for manufacturing of commodities are also exempted.
RESTRICTED MOVEMENT OF INDIVIDUALS
Private individuals are prohibited from leaving their homes except for one representative with an ECQ pass who will be allowed to leave to procure supplies like food, groceries, and medicines. In this case, the E.O. states that representatives from each household may use their own private transport (any mode of transportation) to procure needed supplies.
The Home Quarantine Pass will be distributed by the barangay from household to household.
Those who are authorized to leave their homes and exempted from the ban are: government employees of LGUs and national government offices, private medical service providers like hospitals and clinics, Red Cross, private caregivers, and veterinary service providers; funeral services, funeral car drivers, employees and immediate family of the deceased; emergency responders, employees of the Bureau of Fire Protection, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, local social welfare and development office, and Barangay Health Emergency Response team,
peace and security officers (military, police, Coast guard, Bureau of Fire, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, National Bureau of Investigation etc.), traffic and law enforcement personnel, company security officers, security guards, watchmen, tanods, barangay officers,
delivery personnel of food and goods cargo, and medicine, medical supplies, and equipment; key employees and officials of utilities (water, energy, telecommunications, cable and internet providers); water delivery and refilling station, laundry services, energy companies and power plant maintenance including suppliers, petroleum tanker drivers, gasoline attendants, coal delivery crew, sanitation personnel and garbage collectors,
media personnel; private individual (one per household); members of the House of Representatives with their chief of staff; farm employees with management’ Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman, Justices of Supreme Court, courts, prosecutors, public attorneys and skeleton staff;
farm (rice, poultry, shrimp, and other agriculture and marine products) employees, paymasters and management; sugar, rice, corn, and flour employees and management, including suppliers; management, drivers, and one helper of hauling services.
The E.O. explicitly states that those exempted should be responsible for securing their own means of transportation. They should also carry with them a government-issued ID at all times for identification purposes.
TASKS OF LGU’S
Under the E.O., LGUs are directed to do the following: come up with and implement a scheme of delivering food packs, and other basic necessities directly to vulnerable households; grant ECQ passes to one person per household,
devise and implement a point to point transportation to deliver family representatives to and from markets or stores while ECQ is in place, grant limited passes to the management and employees of essential businesses authorizing transport of products within borders.
CLOSURE OF BUSINESSES
Businesses will remain closed EXCEPT for the following: public markets, supermarkets, groceries, convenience stores; hospitals, medical facilities like clinics, pharmacies, drug stores, food preparation and delivery services, manufacturing and processing plants of food products and medicines,
water refilling stations, laundry services, banks and money transfer services, petroleum, power, energy, water, and telecommunications supplies and facilities, BPO, and sugar centrals and suppliers.
Management of these essential services are asked to maintain a skeleton crew of not more than 25 percent of the plantilla to support operations. Mandatory quarantine should also be strictly enforced.
Businesses are directed to provide the workers with living quarters in their respective workplaces during the duration of the ECQ. They are also to strictly monitor conditions of their workers and communicate to COVID hotlines as soon as the workers exhibit symptoms of the virus.
ECONOMIC RESPONSE MEASURES AND OTHER AREAS
The LGUs, through their social welfare and development offices, are mandated “to assist their needy constituents and displaced workers, especially daily wage earners/no work no pay”. LGUs are authorized to use their Quick Response Fund. LGUs are directed to adopt a house-to-house distribution of the relief packages.