NO PRIOR booking, no entry.
Thus states Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan’s latest executive order, which prohibits beach visitors in the city during Holy Week unless they have confirmed room reservations in hotels and resorts.
The restriction will apply to both residents and non-residents of Lapu-Lapu City and will cover both private and public beaches from Monday, March 29, to Easter Monday, April 4, 2021.
Police at checkpoints will check prior bookings in hotels and resorts as part of measures aimed at preventing transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Hotels and resorts must also limit their guests to 50 percent of capacity to ensure physical distancing. Violators will be issued a citation for violating policies imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Minors below 15 and senior citizens above 65 as well as pregnant women and sickly persons are required to stay at home, Chan also instructed.
Executive Order (EO) 2021-014, which was issued on Friday, March 26, also limits to 50 percent of a church’s capacity the number of people who may attend religious activities during Holy Week.
It listed the eight churches in Lapu-Lapu City and their allowable capacity as follows: Virgen sa Regla, 1,440; Mother of Perpetual Help in Brgy. Babag, 1,800; Our Lady of Fatima in Brgy. Pusok, 1,110; Sto. Niño in Mactan, 2,840; Sacred Heart of Jesus in Brgy. Pajac, 740; Our Lady of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Brgy. Marigondon, 2,120; Our Lady of Peace inside the Mactan Airbase, 135; and St. Augustine Parish in Brgy. Sta. Rosa, 878.
Parish administrators are required to post a tarpaulin indicating the allowable capacity at the church’s entrance gates.
Churches are required to close at 8 p.m. during Holy Week while the Easter Sunday mass must start at 5 a.m.
In compliance with the Catholic Church’s directives, the following in-person activities are cancelled for the second consecutive year: Visita Iglesia on Maundy Thursday; Via Crucis, Santo Entierro and La
Soledad processions on Good Friday; and Sugat on Easter Sunday.
Parishes are also prohibited from conducting traditional Lenten practices such as the Pasyon or Pabasa in chapels and homes, and the traditional visit of the “12 apostles.”
Foot processions are prohibited under the said EO, but motorcades with up to 10 vehicles are allowed.
Chan’s EO requires the public to observe basic health and safety protocols in malls, banks, stores and public markets.
These protocols include wearing of face masks and face shields, and physical distancing.
Chan noted that strict enforcement of these measures and penalizing violators led to a decline in new Covid-19 cases.
Quarantine passes are no longer required in public markets, but mass gatherings in all public places are still prohibited.
Chan said he has designated an area along J.P. Rizal St. for all vendors selling ingredients for “binignit,” a dessert soup traditionally prepared during Holy Week from glutinous rice, coconut milk, banana, sweet potato, taro and tapioca.
“We have designated an area along J.P. Rizal St., where we can buy ingredients for binignit outside the market to prevent people from converging in the market,” Chan said.
As of last week, Chan said new Covid-19 cases in Lapu-Lapu City averaged only 20 a day, just a third of the over 60 cases in a single day in previous weeks.
Off to Bantayan
Meanwhile, the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) is scheduled to send to Bantayan Island today, March 27, personnel of the Provincial Mobile Force Company and standby forces.
Police Colonel Alladin Collado, CPPO director, said the provincial policemen will augment local police in enforcing health and safety protocols in major tourist destinations on the island.
“So we are deploying one company there and we have also standby forces from here in the province and we are requesting for other troops from the region,” Collado said.
He said they were 100 percent ready to provide tight security in Bantayan, where tourists usually converge during Holy Week.
The CPPO will also establish assistance desks, or lakbay alalay centers, in passenger terminals in all ports in Cebu.
Policemen who will be assigned to man these desks are tasked to provide safety tips to travelers.
“There will be lakbay alalay centers or areas where the police, as well as the Bureau of Fire and Protection personnel and other stakeholders, will render assistance to motorists,” Collado said.
He directed all police units to stay vigilant and sustain the Philippine National Police’s campaign against criminality during Holy Week.
At the same time, he urged travelers to be mindful of their personal belongings and avoid leaving their homes unattended. (JKV / AYB)