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By: Mylen Manto | Published Wednesday, May 13, 2020
As Cebu Province prepares for the transition to GCQ, Gov. Gwen Garcia will meet all mayors, including the tri-city, on Friday, May 15 in Balamban town to set the guidelines and protocols to be implemented. (Tonee Despojo/file photo)

Less than a week from now, the Province of Cebu will shift from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ) where lighter restrictions will be imposed. 

However, before issuing an executive order (EO), Governor Gwendolyn Garcia will meet with the mayors of Cebu Province's 44 towns and six component cities to get their inputs on the guidelines and protocols the Capitol has initially prepared.

She assured that the protocols to be implemented will be aligned with the protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

“Duna na kitay giandam nga mga lakang, mga protocols apan gikinahanglan nako niini ang inputs usab sa atong mga mayor,” Garcia said during a virtual presser on Tuesday, May 12.

The governor is set to meet the mayors including the chief executives of the tri-cities Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu on Friday, May 15 in Balamban town.

“Tagsa-tagsaon nato pagtuki ang nagkadilain nga mga lakang, mga proseso og lakip na mismo pag-transition nato gikan sa ECQ to GCQ. Mahinungdanon kaayo ang inyong opinion, ang inyung mga inputs, aron ang atong Executive Order unya nga pagahimuon og lagdaan sigurado ta nadungog ang tanan natong mga LGUs ug na-consider usab ang nagkadilaing sitwasyon sa matag LGU,” she explained.

On Monday, May 11, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of IATF for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution No. 35 placing Cebu Province under GCQ from May 16 to May 31. 

Currently, the Province has 55 Covid-19 cases - 33 were from the Cebu Provincial Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) and 18 were spread in different towns and cities.

Under the GCQ, limited movements will still continue but the government and almost all industries, except amusement-related companies, will be allowed to operate up to 75 percent. 

These industries include essential services, malls, commercial centers, barbershops, salons, bookstores, and others, subject to compliance of strict health standards and social distancing protocols.

Amusement- and travel-related industries such as tourists destinations, travel agencies, tour operators, reservation service; gambling and betting establishments; personal care services such as massage parlors, sauna bath establishments, facial care, foot spa, and waxing salons; gyms, bars, cinemas, and karaoke bars are not allowed to operate.

Limited transport services will be available following strict social distancing, and flexible learning avenues will be allowed. 

Garcia said buses and mini buses plying southern Cebu will not be allowed to enter Cebu City which is under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

She emphasized that the strict border controls between Cebu City and the Province will continue.

The Cebu South Bus Terminal is planned to be temporarily located in Talisay City, shared Garcia after having initial talks with Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas.

The North Bus Terminal will not be affected since it is located in Mandaue City. 

Aside from the Province of Cebu, Malacanang also announced the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu can be placed under GCQ. However, the chief executives of the tri-cities appealed to the IATF-EID through a joint statment to re-consider its recommendation for Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.

“While we welcome such development, we could not simply ignore the harsh realities that to our assessment, it is still not safe to proceed with the General Community Quarantine, more so, that a greater part of the community has not been tested for COVID-19,” read the statement. (Mylen Manto)