CEBU City has been on enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) since March 28, 2020 and will continue to be on ECQ until May 31.
The rise in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases had prompted the City Government to again postpone the transition from ECQ to a modified ECQ or general community quarantine.
Many had been looking forward to the easing of some restrictions.
The downgrading of the ECQ would have meant the opening of some establishments. Affected workers who have had no income since April could have gone back to work. Businesses that have been forced to shut down could have reopened.
On Thursday, May 21, 2020, members of the business sector met with Mayor Edgardo Labella to shed light on their plight.
For many, the current health crisis has not been good for their finances.
Business owners also have bills to pay. So far, they’ve managed to stay afloat but if the situation doesn’t change some of them may not be able to hang on.
Felix Taguiam, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said their main concern is for trade to resume.
“Because of Covid-19, the flow of goods was disrupted, manpower, tourism, exports, everything. No aspect of life was left untouched by the pandemic and everybody was affected,” he said.
He said some of their employees are angry because they need to feed their families, adding that the sector needs to reboot because “bleeding na sad ang negosyante.”
However, business owners also need to ensure that the workplace is safe for everyone when they reopen. To do this, they may have to require workers to get tested for the disease.
Since not all employers and employees can afford the test, the government may have to intervene and shoulder the cost.
Business owners need all the help they can get to make sure their “wounds” do not become fatal.