Briones: No lockdown

Publio J. Briones III
·2 min read

OH I get it.

Lahug is only worried for its residents. The continuing rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the Cebu City barangay has prompted local officials to strictly enforce existing executive orders issued by Mayor Edgardo Labella to prevent the spread of the highly infectious but not so deadly disease.

So that explains why, since January, people who are going about their business outdoors have been suddenly accosted by police personnel and asked to produce a City-issued quarantine pass.

You see, on paper, only authorized persons outside residence and those with essential errands are still allowed out while the pandemic is ongoing as part of the stay-at-home order.

Also, mass gatherings are still prohibited and people are supposed to be indoors after curfew.

At least, that’s what Barangay Captain Hazel Ann Empleo told the media over the weekend.

And don’t be surprised if all the stores in the barangay, including groceries, were closed on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. That, too, was part of the plan.

According to Empleo, only money remittance centers, pharmacies and gasoline stations can operate on the seventh day of the week.

She was quick to point out that there was no lockdown. That they, like so many other public officials, are focused on reviving the economy that has yet to recover from the effects of the health crisis.

So I guess shutting down selected establishments for one day a week will help their owners weather this financial storm.

I’m not even sure if the mayor had issued an executive order to that effect. But hey, Empleo’s heart is in the right place. And that’s what counts, right?

Never mind the hundreds of small and not so small businesses that struggle every single day just to stay afloat. I’m sure they can manage. After all, who goes out on Sundays anyway?

Oh wait, didn’t Empleo say that it’s one of the busiest days of the week, which is why they’ve implemented this temporary closure — mind you, not “lockdown” — to prevent people from having a family outing?

Hmm. Go figure.

Well, if you look at it, Sunday is the day of rest. So I guess, residents of Lahug can use the occasion to do just that. Rest. And hope for the best.

Anytime soon the government will start rolling out vaccines. And people can return to their old routine. And it will be business as usual.

In the meantime, Lahugians — is that what you call its residents? — can always go to the next barangay if they want to buy milk tea. Or they can have it delivered. Although, Empleo did say that food establishments can remain open as long as they don’t allow dine-in. I guess, they can get their milk tea to go.