Bzzzzz: Enhanced quarantine/lockdown is on but not yet totally enforced in Cebu province

SUGGESTIONS to/from public:

[1] For people to read and understand the orders from local government leaders: your governor, if you are in the province or your mayor in one of its 44 towns or six component cities; or your mayor in Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City, which are independent of the Capitol.

[] For the governor and each mayor to summarize the prohibitions in plain language, English and Cebuano-Bisaya, preferably simplified in graphic style and circulated widely. The news stories and live-streaming apparently have not been enough.

In province, it's in force but...

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia's executive order (#5-N) -- which raises the stage of community quarantine in the province from "general" to "enhanced" -- takes effect Monday, March 30, but here's the thing lost to many people: Only one provision, which is a new prohibition, is enforced immediately. The other rules and guidelines still have to follow.

That provision prohibits the entrance of international flights at Cebu airports. One plane-load of passengers, which the order could not cover on time (Lapu-Lapu City's EO takes effect on Sunday, March 29 yet) will be quarantined upon their arrival. But outbound travel is still allowed "if flights are available."

There's a provision on cargoes but it stresses what is already allowed: the free flow of cargoes at Cebu seaports, with priority on basic goods).

So Cebu province will have a lockdown, starting Friday, March 27, but not yet totally implemented (wait for further announcements). Cebu City will follow Saturday, March 28 at noon and Lapu-Lapu City on Sunday, March 29.

Not panic, just unmet demand

They say the long queues at malls and bus terminals for the towns Thursday, March 26, indicated signs of panic: to buy goods and to head for home in the province.

The lines were orderly: no rush or stampede.

They were long in front of malls because of the health safety protocol adopted by the establishments. And long in front of terminals because of the shortage or absence of buses that were running. Bus owners are discouraged by the rules on physical distancing which sharply reduce their income. It was not known if the appeal of the governor Thursday afternoon produced the much-needed buses.

But the panic might be more apparent than real. The signs Thursday could indicate just abnormal increase of demand coupled with the conditions why they were not met.

Suggestions on social media included action by LGUs to stave off consequences of the prohibitions laid down in executive orders. And, yes, improve the flow of communication for the public to understand the advice and orders from the leaders. Active response of government PIOs to eruptions in social media on confusing or vague orders will help.

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