BACOLOD

Biz group no resistance on ECQ extension in NegOcc, Bacolod

A LOCAL business group has no resistance to the executive orders (EOs) issued by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Mayor Evelio Leonardia extending the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, respectively.

Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), said they subscribe to the governor and the mayor.

Recognizing the need to further ensure the safety of the public amid this ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the two top officials issued on Wednesday the EOs providing for the two-week ECQ extension.

Carbon said the business group is upbeat that an effective contact tracing and mass testing of persons under monitoring (PUMs) and persons under investigation (PUIs) including those who are asymptomatic will be done after a month.

“By then, sometime in May, we could partially open up or allow a little more economic activity while limiting the movement of people,” he said, adding that “maybe, a month after, in June, we could go on a normal mode.”

Lacson, in his EO, said the validity of all ECQ passes issued by the provincial government are deemed extended until 11:59 in the evening of April 30.

The mandatory wearing of face mask shall also be in full force and in effect, he added.

The governor assured that the provincial government will extend necessary support to Negrenses including additional relief assistance during the two-week extension.

Leonardia, meanwhile, said the foregoing statistics show that the danger of local transmission is still a grave and present threat which cannot be underestimated.

In his EO, the mayor said all the foregoing premises considered, the city cannot be complacent and must therefore continue to institute stringent measures to stop the transmission of Covid-19.

Based on the April 8 bulletin of the Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas, the province still has one confirmed case while its capital city has seven.

It can be recalled that in an earlier pronouncement, the MBCCI said there’s no need to extend the ECQ in the province including Bacolod City.

The group said there’s a need, instead, to free up other quarantined areas but with restrictions and precautions in order for the economy to get going again.

The non-extension of ECQ would enable businesses to start operating, hiring and paying, it said.

The chamber also said they feel that extending the ECQ taking effect from March 30 to April 14 is no longer needed except for those identified as “hot zone” and “ultra-risk” areas.

But with the latest development, now that the existing quarantine measure is extended, Carbon said “let us stay on the safe side for now up to April 30.”

The business group is optimistic that most likely by July, government and private institutions will resume normal functions.

“People will return to their normal lives,” he said, adding that “there’s still light at the end of the tunnel.”


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