THE imposition made by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Infectious Disease (IATF) placing Cagayan de Oro City and the rest of Region 10 under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) from General Community Quarantine (GCQ) last June 1, 2020 gave a breath of fresh air to most of our kababayans.
With this new categorization, economic activities will be allowed in limited capacities in order to conform with minimum health standards. As more industries resume their business, workers began to troop out after staying home for almost two months. We can easily notice that the city of Cagayan de Oro is now embracing the new normal with traffic build-up in major thoroughfares.
Everything seems to be working well for everyone as quarantine measures have been relaxed allowing more people to go out of their residence. Then suddenly, without everyone’s anticipation, a new policy involving travelling in and outside the city was announced. Those who wish to travel outside the city, either for business or otherwise, will be required to secure travel authority from the PNP. This policy change drew flak among the residents as it contradicts the earlier announcements by the national task force. Just this week, the city government of Cagayan de Oro made a pronouncement that the use of Barangay Exit Pass (BEP) will still be required for non-essential travel. As expected, Kagay-anons went to social media to vent out their frustrations over the continuing policy changes imposed by our local officials. Some of our kababayans even questioned the purpose of BEP when in fact this document is not being checked in every establishment.
As we struggle to adapt to the new normal and bring our lives back together, the ever changing policies that our local leaders forcefully tried to shove in our throats do not contribute to the betterment of our daily existence. Instead of making things easier for us, most of us feel constrained and restricted. Instead of putting our minds at ease, we now feel dazed and confused.
Earlier this week, the City Government announced that backriders are prohibited for those traveling using motorcycles. The reason being is that physical distancing is not observed. Majority of Kagay-anons questioned this policy especially for the case of a husband and wife who are living under one roof and share the same bed. I honestly don’t understand the logic behind this policy. Are we saying that riding a public utility jeep (PUJ) is much safer as compared to riding on the same motorcycle with the person you know? This is perhaps the most unpopular policy made by the City Government since Covid-19 pandemic was declared.