BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia on Friday, March 27, issued Executive Order (EO) No. 26 Series of 2020 placing the City of Bacolod under enhanced community quarantine from March 30 to April 14, 2020.
Leonardia said on March 25, in preparation for the possibility of elevating the quarantine status of the city, the Bacolod City Inter-Agency Task Force against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) endorsed its proposed “guidelines on the declaration of an enhanced community quarantine in the City of Bacolod and for other purposes.”
He said the Bacolod City Health Office has reported that as of March 26, the total number of patients under investigation (PUI) in the city is 27, one of whom already tested positive, while the total persons under monitoring (PUM) has reached 1, 614.
On March 26, the Province of Negros Occidental issued Executive Order No. 20-20, Series of 2020, placing the entire province under enhanced community quarantine effective on March 30 until April 14.
“With said issuance of Executive Order No. 20-20, which the Province of Negros Occidental treats as a precaution against the spread or local transmission of Covid-19 in the whole province, it now becomes imperative for the City of Bacolod to synchronize all its preventive measures against the dreaded viral disease for it to properly and effectively safeguard the health and welfare of its constituents,” Leonardia said.
Strict home quarantine will be imposed, the respective barangays will issue one home quarantine pass (HQP) to a member of a family of competent age and discretion 18-years-old and above, for each household, for the purpose of regulating the movement of the citizens in the city. The HQP will serve as access to the basic needs of the household in purchasing/obtaining the provision for food, health and other essential commodities.
The EO also states that the issuance and use of the HQP shall be for the sole legitimate purpose. The HQP is not for sale and neither would it entail any cost for its issuance. It is not transferable and the possessor of such HQP shall carry it at all times while outside the household and must be presented, upon inspection, with a valid identification document (ID). Any misuse or abuse in the use of the HQP shall be subject to prosecution under applicable laws.
All kinds and modes of public transportation will be suspended except for any shuttle service that may be primarily provided for health workers and frontliners. The respective barangays may utilize their vehicles to service their constituents on a scheduled basis from a given point of origin and destination for the purpose of purchasing or obtaining food and essential needs.
Business establishments which are allowed to operate in the duration of the ECQ is urged to provide means of transportation to their workers convenient to the schedule and point of origin and destination, the City Government of Bacolod will continue to provide essential government services for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine.
However, work in the government offices will be limited to medical, disaster preparedness, security, social services, and financial transaction only. All other departments and offices will observe work-from-home scheme.
The enhanced community quarantine period will begin from March 30 at 12:01 a.m. until April 14 at 11:59 p.m. unless extended or shortened upon recommendation of the Bacolod City Inter-Agency Task Force against Covid-19.
All businesses and private commercial establishments other than those providing essential goods and services will be temporarily closed and operations will be suspended for the duration of the ECQ.
Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) Director Colonel Henry Biñas said there will be deployment of personnel in various borders in the city and they will also assist the barangays to implement the EO.
Siñas said persons who will disobey or resist the police officers will be charged accordingly with the violation of the Revised Penal Code for disobedience or resistance to agent of persons in authority.
“We will confine them in places like gymnasium in the barangay and we will evaluate or assist their reasons for roaming around the city, if they have a valid reason then, probably they will be allowed to leave, but if there’s none then, we will file the appropriate charges against them,” he added.
Colonel Michael Samson, deputy commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, also said the Philippine Army will assist the Philippine National Police to maintain the peace and order in the city.
“We have enough troops to augment, but we are hopeful that the people will cooperate with us,” he said.
Commander Jansen Benjamin, of Philippine Coast Guard-Negros, said they will strictly implement also the “no sail policy” of all water crafts, passengers boats, among others.
He said only cargo vessels delivering essential goods and cargoes will be allowed in compliance with the national directives that goods and cargoes should not be hampered.
He added that they will also coordinate with the PNP and the Armed Forces to implement the EO No. 26.