BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Vice-Mayor El Cid Familiaran has warned business owners here that opening their stores while the Enhanced Community Quarantine is still in effect can lead to the cancellation of their permits, and a shutdown.
Familiaran issued the warning in an interview with DNX after he himself saw some establishments, particularly hardware stores and automobile supplies, open today, on the day the modified executive order of provincial governor Eugenio Lacson took effect.
The order of Lacson allowed the regulated, partial return of mass public transport, particularly tricycles and trisikads with limited passengers to ply the streets again.
He also allowed the resumption of construction works and the opening of hardwares and car parts stores.
This city, a highly-urbanized one, is not under the political jurisdiction of Capitol.
Familiaran said some owners he have talked to offered the common “alibi” – that they thought Lacson’s order included their businesses.
“I don’t know if it is true,” he said but clarified that there are exemptions, among them if these stores are selling parts or supplies to government agencies.
Even then, however, he said they can only get what their customers ordered then close their stores.
Apparently though, what he saw indicated the stores were “selling to the general public” as shown by people waiting in front or at the back of these shops.
Which made him doubt the claims of these owners being confused.
“Most of us here know we don’t vote for governor and so do they,” he said.
He said the city legal office had repeatedly warned some of these owners as early as last week.
“They can be closed for violating the executive order,” Familiaran warned but he also appealed to them “please cooperate so we can be fair to everyone; it’s now only a matter of days.”