Cebu biz groups welcome downgrade of community quarantine

BUSINESS chambers in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue welcomed the development of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), as the major trading cities will transition to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ), respectively, starting June 1, 2020.

However, Cebu City Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Felix Taguiam said the business community is even ready for a GCQ after Cebu City Mayor Labella appealed to the task force.

"Businesses are raring to start already. We may need the guidelines from City Hall on what is needed to open," he said.

Taguiam said MECQ will have some business restrictions, but at the very least, the city will have essential and partial businesses that will open.

"That would mean that our employees can start reporting to work which is an utmost priority," the CCCI president said.

MECQ will open more types of businesses that were not allowed during the ECQ.

These would include guidelines for malls, commercial centers and leisure establishments and would allow dining/restaurants (deliver and take-out only), hardware stores, clothing and accessories, mall-based government frontline services, bookstores and school and office supplies stores, baby care supplies stores, pet food and pet care supplies, IT, communications, and electronic equipment, flower, jewelry, novelty, antique, perfume shops and toy store (with playgrounds and amusement area closed).

On one hand, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Steven Yu said the decision is "part of the gradual and safe reopening of the economy based on scientific and calibrated data."

"We should take note that we are still under community quarantine, which means that public health standards apply, and we should stay at home except only when we go out to buy essential items or work in exempted establishments," Yu said.

He warned the threat of Covid-19 is still very real and the exercise of extreme precaution should still be observed.

"The deployment of public transportation which will pose a threat to social distancing should be avoided. Until a vaccine is found, lives are still at risk, and losing one’s life is one too many," Yu stressed. (JOB)