THE malls and supermarkets where food supplies are available were ordered to remain open in Cebu City for the duration of the general community quarantine imposed by Mayor Edgardo Labella to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Labella said he issued Executive Order (EO) 56 for the temporary shutdown of recreational centers—fitness centers, gyms, movie houses or movie theaters, casinos, bars and clubs effective on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
The order does not exempt recreational hubs inside malls.
Labella issued the order to discourage people from going to these places as the city is still under quarantine, which started on 12:01 a.m. March 16 and will end at 11:59 p.m. on April 14, 2020.
The order affects the recreational establishment owners and their employees, as the City tries to avoid local transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
Also suspended by Labella were the visits to the Cebu City Jail and the Operation Second Chance, a facility for children in conflict with the law. Both facilities are in Barangay Kalunasan.
The EO 56 also includes the temporary shutdown of amusement centers that serve alcoholic beverages such as night clubs, bars, taverns, cocktail lounges, beer parlors and pubs; arts, entertainment and recreation activities and places such as live performances, events of exhibits intended for public viewing, art, galleries, concerts, opera or dance production, operation of concert and theater halls and other arts; gambling facilities such as casinos, bingo halls, video gaming terminals, lotteries and off-tracking betting, dance studio and other fitness classes.
Revocation of business permits and charges await the violators. The Philippine National Police, Business Permit and Licensing Office and the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement team, barangay captains, tanods (watchmen) and volunteers (known as force multipliers) were tasked to implement the mayor’s order.
Adjusted work week
Also, several government agencies in Central Visayas have decided to adjust their working hours and days.
The Department of Labor and Employment 7 implemented a four-day work week in its main office in Cebu City and its field offices starting this week.
The Cebu Provincial Government will also implement the same work scheme, but its working hours from Monday to Thursday will be extended to make up for the eight hours that will be lost every Friday.
Effective on Wednesday, March 18, the Home Development Fund (the Pag-IBIG Fund) changed its office schedules in all of its branches in the Visayas and Mindanao. The offices are open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On the same day, the National Economic and Development Authority 7 adopted alternative work arrangements.
The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. reminded employers to assign one authorized person to transact on behalf of newly hired employees.
Also on March 18, several district and extension offices of the Land Transportation Office 7 were temporarily closed. The agency’s E-Patrol Mobile Service will be suspended on Thursday, March 19.
Several banks also adjusted their banking hours. The Land Bank-Bureau of Customs branch decided to open at 9 a.m. and close at 2 p.m., so its employees can go home early and avoid the curfew in Cebu City that starts at 8 p.m. (JJL, WBS, RTF, PAC & HBL )