Export companies’ suspension of operations to push through

LAPU-LAPU City Mayor Junard Chan doubled down on his decision to temporarily close the economic zones in the city during the enhanced community quarantine starting at 12:01 a.m., Sunday, March 29, 2020.

This was the mayor’s reaction to Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Clarito Plaza, who wrote him to question his decision. Plaza reminded Chan that President Rodrigo Duterte’s order was to let export companies maintain their operations as long as they observe proper social distancing and they have skeletal labor force.

However, Chan said the companies in the two Mactan economic zones and Cebu Light Industrial Park agreed with his decision to suspend operations to help the City prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.

Chan said he has yet to receive the letter from Plaza.

Last week, Chan talked with the companies and he urged their management to provide free transportation for their employees so they can avoid large crowds in the streets.

On March 23-24, Chan roamed the city streets and he noticed that social distancing was not observed by commuters and several workers were stuck in the streets, leading the mayor to decide to temporarily close the operations of the economic zones in the city.

However, Chan said he would give a chance to the companies to submit their contingency plans.

Aside from providing transportation for their employees, Chan said the companies must provide free housing to them and trim down the number of workers to make sure proper social distancing will be observed inside their workplaces. If they cannot follow these, Chan said there is no point to allow the export companies to operate.

Meanwhile, Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority General Manager Steve Dicdican said he will seek exemption to allow vital airport personnel to continue their work during the enhanced community quarantine in Lapu-Lapu City. (GCM & JOB / CBQ)