BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Councilors here and the lone district solon have weighed in on the issue of descaling or extending the Enhanced Community Quarantine over this city of more than half a million people.
Near noontime today, Vice-Mayor El Cid Familiaran led the city council in unanimously passing a resolution “urgently and earnestly appealing to the national inter-agency task force to allow the Bacolod City government to extend the Enhanced Community Quarantine.”
Lone District solon Greg Gasataya, on his part, said he favors an extension primarily because of the fact that this economic and political capital of the province is sandwiched by the islands of Cebu and Iloilo.
Two” high-risk areas,” Cebu and Iloilo cities, are in these islands, Gasataya told DNX.
He also pointed out that the number of people tested here compared to the entire population has not even reached one percent while a large number of possible cases still have pending results.
The councilors pointed out in their resolution that there were only two confirmed COVID cases in the city when Mayor Evelio Leonardia had issued Executive Order No. 26 imposing the ECQ.
Now, they added, the confirmed cases had increased to nine with two deaths.
Councilor Archie Baribar, who heads the exit planning team of the city, said the basis for the descaling of the quarantine level must be based on what is happening on the ground.
“I understand the position of the national IATF and the national government but things on the ground must be studied closely before any decision is to be made,” Baribar told DNX.
Councilor Ann Marie Palermo, on the other hand, said the case of Patient 9, the 65-year-old woman from Banago village, can now be considered a local transmission and should not be taken lightly.
“Whatever gains we have made will be lost,” Palermo told DNX.
Councilor Renecito Novero, chair of the Quarantine Centers Action Team, on his part, said it must also be noted that at least 150 results are pending for the same number of residents who were swabbed by health authorities.
Councilor Israel Salanga, on the other hand, said hundreds of residents returning from work abroad can be expected in the following days.
This is one of the reasons cited in the resolution of the council.
Salanga, who chairs the Action Team on Returning OFWs, said the city is ready to welcome them but they would have to undergo 14-day quarantine in the facilities to be provided by the local government.