Cebu City under enhanced community quarantine starting March 28

CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella has placed the entire Cebu City under a state of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) effective 12 noon of March 28, 2020 until 12 noon of April 28 or unless sooner lifted or withdrawn.

"To all the people in the City of Cebu, none is more important than your lives and families," Labella said in a press conference Thursday, March 26.

In his Executive Order 064, Labella directed all residents of Cebu City during the effectivity of the ECQ to stay at home and movement outside their home shall be allowed only for the purpose of accessing basic necessities.

Only one member of the household is allowed to go out for such purpose.

Exempted of the Stay at Home Order are medical practictioners, officers, hospital staff, nurses, and health volunteers for the purpose of rendering medixal assistance and/or service; emergency personnel; all authorized national and loval government officials and employees; drivers and personnel of delivery vehicles of all types of cargoes; construction workers duly authorized by the City Government; accredited media personnel; farmers, fishermen and agri-business personnel; persons who seek medical attention or who are already admitted on any medical facility, provided that only one companion shall be allowed; employees of exempted establishments; and such other persons as may be authorized by the mayor.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies are directed to ensure compliance.

Government offices providing basic services will continue operating provided they adopt alternative work arrangements pursuant to Civil Service Commission memorandum.

They are directed to issue accreditation orders to identify their skeletal workforces for critical services operating during the duration of the ECQ.

Bona fide identification cards issued by their respective agencies shall be sufficient for movement around the contained area until such time that such accreditation orders shall have been issued by the agency concerned.

All business establishments in the city is also ordered closed during the duration of the ECQ.

Expempted for 24 hours are hospitals, clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, drugstores, gasoline stations, cargo handlers, forwarders, shipping lines, water, electricity, cable and telecommunication companies, funeral parlors, establishments manufacturing medical supplies and establishments rendering delivery services.

The EO also limited the operating hours of the following establishments (allowed only until 8 p.m.): Food establishments, food manufacturers/suppliers, public markets, supermarkets, groceries, bakeshops and convenient stores; water-refilling station; veterinary clinics; animal feed suppliers; banks and money transfers; hardware stores; delivery and courier services; dealers of suppliers of agricultural products, LPG and other petroleum products, medical supplies and veterinary supplies; and laundry services.

Establishments shall adopt strict skeletal workforce, implement social distancing, provide adequate transportation to their employees. They are also required to do temperature checks and to provide masks and sanitation essentials.

Hotels or similar establishments are not allowed to operate except those accomodating guests who have existing booking accomodation as of March 26 and guests with long-term leases.

The operation of all land vehicles whether public or private plying within the territitorial jurisdiction of Cebu City will also be temporarily suspended with exemptions to private vehicles and motorcycles which are allowed to ply within Cebu City for the purpose of securing food, basic commodities and medicine; emergency vehicles; delivery trucks carrying basic commodities and essential goods; delivery trucks carrying construction materials; AFP and PNP vehicles; authorized government vehicles; and buses authorized by government.

The EO also restricted land and sea travel in the city.

During the ECQ, borders will be stricly monitored and no person is allowed to enter or exit Cebu except for personnel of medical services, emergency responders, security service, banks, money transfer services, supermarets, public markets, pharmacies, food chains engaged in delivery and take-out, public utilities, sanitation, cargo delivery, some manufacuring establishments, and logistics, among others.

Under the order, checkponts will be installed in every border exit and entry in Cebu City and will operate 24 hours a day.

Appropriate legal action will also be imposed to those who share unverified reports.

Labella has appealed to businesses to be understanding amid the current Covid-19 pandemic.

“To the business sector, if we don’t do this now, the impact would even be greater... so let us do it sooner than later,” Labella said.

Earlier, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard "Ahong" Chan issued an order implementing an enhanced community quarantine effective March 27 and March 29, respectively. (JJL/JGS)

READ: Impending lockdown in Cebu