CEBU City officials have learned from what happened at the Carbon Public Market during Holy Week in 2020.
This has prompted Market Operations Division head Irvin Cabales to start planning measures to ensure health protocols are complied with during this period.
On Maundy Thursday of last year, a crowd flocked to Carbon to buy ingredients for binignit, a staple dessert of Filipinos every Holy Week. It is made of yam, sticky rice and coconut milk, among others.
Cabales said his office started informing vendors and stall owners to police their customers and make sure that minimum health standards are observed.
He said the one-entrance-one-exit policy will also be strictly enforced at the market.
“Butangan gyud nato’g special attention areaha no, katong nabinignit sa una (We will focus on the area where the binignit ingredients are sold),” he said.
Cabales said other passageways in Carbon remain closed.
The City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will also have a coordination meeting with the Archdiocese of Cebu, the Philippine National Police and City Councilor Phillip Zafra, who is the public order committee chairman, to discuss measures that will be enforced during the Holy Week.
City Councilor Joel Garganera, EOC deputy chief implementer, said city and church officials will ensure that traditional activities will remain canceled.
Based on EOC data, 3.7 percent of cases that were contact traced on March 4 were infected in public and barangay markets, while 18.5 percent were infected in supermarkets. Household transmission and workplace transmission remain the major sources of transmission at 37.8 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
Cabales urged consumers to strictly observe health protocols and avoid mass gathering while inside the market.
“Hinaot nga di sad sila mosuksok kay mao man gyud na’y nakapait nato mga Pilipino usahay (Hopefully, customers won’t cut in when they buy),” said Cabales.
To date, 80 percent of Carbon’s around 1,500 stall owners have returned.
When the city was placed under enhanced community quarantine at the end of March last year, only around 300 stalls remained open.
Cabales said more ambulant vendors have also resumed selling their goods. (JJL)