THE 9th Provincial Board of Guimaras has enacted an ordinance to enforce public health standards under the "new normal" in the midst of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Ordinance 2020-04, also known as "An ordinance prescribing for measures and policies against emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in the province thereby establishing the 'new normal' in connection therewith," is one of the measures undertaken by the province to arrest the spread of Covid-19 in the island.
The ordinance was introduced by Vice Governor John Edward Gando, Majority Floor Leader Cyril Beltran and Provincial Board Member Josefina De La Cruz, the chairperson of the Committee on Health.
Governor Samuel Gumarin hailed the Provincial Board for passing a legislation that would promote discipline as the new normal.
He said it is the responsibility of every Guimarasnon to follow laws and protocols to arrest the spread of the deadly virus.
"Nagapasalamat kita sa aton nga 9th Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Governor Atty. John Edward Gando sa pagpasar sini nga ordinansa. Paagi sini labi naton maprotektahan ang mga Guimarasnon kag matapna ang paglapta sang Covid-19 sa aton probinsiya," Gumarin said.
The legislation will also sustain public health safety measures implemented by the province in battling the pandemic and will foster shared responsibility among stakeholders for a Covid-free Guimaras, said Gumarin.
Dubbed as the "new normal" ordinance, it mandates the establishment of screening posts in all ports of entry deemed necessary by the Provincial Government to screen inbound travelers.
Entry to the island through ports not authorized is prohibited, as well as assisting the entry of persons to the province using the ports of entry that are not authorized by the Provincial Government of Guimaras.
Section 5 of the ordinance requires residents and non-residents to fill out a Health Declaration Card before they will be allowed to enter the province, and non-compliance means he/she cannot board any vessel bound for Guimaras.
It also stated that "an Inbound Pass shall be issued to all inbound non-residents which shall be surrendered to the authorized personnel upon departure from the province."
Non-resident individuals working in government and who are stationed in the province shall be issued a "work pass" while those who are working for private establishments may get their work pass from the municipal governments.
Outbound residents shall not be allowed to leave the province without an Outbound Resident Pass which they will surrender upon returning to the island.
Sections 7 and 8 of the decree order the mandatory wearing of face mask and observe social physical distancing in public places and workplaces at all times, respectively, thus public utility vehicles and passenger motorbancas in the province shall operate at 50 percent capacity.
Violating the provision of this ordinance shall be meted out a fine of P5,000 or an imprisonment of one year or both.
Meanwhile, individuals who will violate Section 7 and 8 or the mandatory wearing of face mask and observance of physical distancing shall be issued a citation ticket commanding him/her to appear before the Provincial Legal Office within 72 hours from issuance of the ticket to settle the fine.
For first offense, a P500 fine shall be imposed, P1,000 for the second offense and P1,500 for the third offense.
For fourth offense or more, administrative settlement of fines shall no longer be allowed.
Public officials or employees who shall violate Sections 7 and 8 of the ordinance shall be punished with a fine of P1,500.
Local chief executives, village chiefs, their duly authorized authorities and the Philippine National Police shall be responsible for the apprehension of anyone violating the provisions of this ordinance. (PR)