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POST-ECQ STARTS MAY 20: BUSINESSES, PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO RESUME PARTIALLY
By: Vanessa Almeda | Published Friday, May 15, 2020
Cebu Province will shift from ECQ to GCQ on Wednesday, May 20 easing some of the set restrictions. This was agreed by Gov. Gwen Garcia and the mayors of the 44 towns and 7 cities in Cebu during a meeting in Balamban town earlier today. (Junjie Mendoza)

Restrictions will ease a little bit for Cebu Province as it transitions from the current Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) on Wednesday, May 20.

The shift, however, does not include Talisay City and Mandaue City. Mayor Gerard Anthony "Samsam" Gullas requested Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to hold off the lifting of the ECQ for Talisay, pending results of the swab tests conducted on persons identified in their contact tracing. 

Mandaue, meanwhile, had submitted a request to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) for it to retain its ECQ status and is awaiting reply from the national task force.

Garcia had a six-hour meeting in Balamban today, May 15, with mayors of the 44 towns and 7 cities of the Province. They discussed the draft Executive Order No. 17 titled "Providing the General Community Quarantine protocols, standards and guidelines to be observed within the Province of Cebu". 

Starting May 20, aside from mini-buses and buses being allowed to travel, tricycles will now be allowed to serve town residents. However, this will still be subject to Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) regulations and rules on strict physical distancing. Only 1 passenger is allowed for every tricycle.

Mayors are urged to set up their own bus stops as pick-up points for passengers.

Quarantine passes earlier issued for each household will still be used, and local chief executives are given the leeway on whether they would issue more.

Travel within the province will also be allowed, including to and from Bantayan Island and the Camotes group of islands.

Essential businesses and establishments will be allowed to open except for the following: gyms, fitness, sports, and recreation centers; bars and pubs; karaoke establishments; movie houses; swimming pools; cockpits and other leisure establishments.

Businesses and establishments that are allowed to operate shall strictly observe curfew hours. 

Social distancing measures, temperature checking, use of masks and gloves and other public health regulations will still be in place. 

Hotels, resorts and other hospitality service establishments are allowed to operate subject to restrictions under E.O. No. 5-L on gatherings and social distancing: bookings shall be limited to one person per room while group celebrations, parties, activities, and other gatherings of any form are strictly prohibited. 

Carenderias, fast-food chains and dine-in restaurants will also be allowed, but only 50 percent of their total customer capacity is allowed. The use of air-conditioning is also prohibited.

Hand sanitizers and other disinfectants shall also be made available to customers at all times. Any establishment that will be caught violating this order will face revocation of their business permit by the local government unit (LGU).

Sports activities except contact sports will also be allowed on specific time while swimming in the sea, beaches, rivers and other open body of waters will also be allowed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Walking, jogging, or plain sun exposure between 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and other forms of exercise or physical activity that do not involve contact with other persons will also be allowed from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Banks and other financial institutions will now operate based on its regular banking hours, while work in government offices may return at full operational capacity at the discretion of the local chief executive or head of the agency or bureau. 

Malls and shopping centers are allowed limited operations and should comply with the Department of Trade and Industry guidelines on the operations of malls in areas declared under general community quarantine. 

However, it will be the LGU concerned or the DTI that will issue guidelines to limit foot traffic.

Classes will continue to be suspended and the province will comply with the guidelines issued by the Department of Education in the resumption of classes. 

Further, as regard to public transport, it shall operate at a reduced capacity in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation and the LTFRB including social distancing, limited passenger capacity, regular disinfection and sanitation.

Further, the buses and mini-buses routes shall be allowed in routes identified and approved by the LTFRB while the Capitol will issue a Provincial Public Utility Passes (PPUP).

Talisay City will provide the terminal area for buses and mini-buses that will ply the southern part of Cebu and Consolacion in the north. (Vanessa L. Almeda)