CAGAYAN de Oro Councilor Eric Salcedo has proposed for a temporary suspension of Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogo) outlets as precautionary measure to prevent the entry and possible novel coronavirus (Covid-19) infection of city residents.
In his special report on Monday, February 10, Salcedo said there were reports of the presence of overstaying Chinese who work for Pogo outlets in the Alwana Business Park in Barangay Cugman, this city.
“Ang akong gina-mean pud dili man lockdown, temporary suspension lang sa Pogo. Kung pananglitan ipa-investigate nato, dili man ipa-raid nato nga mokuha pa ta sa korte og search warrant,” Salcedo said.
“Ang ato lang nga preventive measure ra gyud ni ang akong point,” he added.
However, Councilor Joyleen Mercedes “Girlie” Balaba remarked the unfairness of making the COVID-19 an excuse to pin down Chinese nationals in Alwana Business Park who “may or may not” have documents or overstayed and “supposedly” operating POGO.
“The problem right now is the spread of the NCoV. We have to make sure that the people of Cagayan de Oro City is safe, protected and well informed of this outbreak,” Balaba said.
Balaba said singling out Chinese would be discriminatory, which would fall against her proposed anti-discrimination ordinance.
Councilor Maria Lourdes Gaane said the city hall task force created to monitor COVID-19 is negotiating with Alwana Business Park owners for coordination in surveillance on foreigners who may show symptoms of contracting the virus.
Councilor Edgar Cabanlas, for his part, advised colleagues not to stoke public fears of the coronavirus.
He added that any surveillance done to monitor the presence of Covid-19 in the city should apply to all those who came from countries facing an outbreak and not just the Chinese or any foreigners.