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By: Vanessa Almeda | Published Saturday, May 30, 2020
Gov. Gwen Garcia shares her intention to appeal the decision of the IATF placing the entire Cebu still under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1 and ask the Province to be upgraded to Modified GCQ instead. (Junjie Mendoza)

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia will appeal the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IAFT) placing the entire Cebu still under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1, 2020, and ask that the Province upgrade instead to Modified General Community Quarantine  (MGCQ).

Border restrictions and checkpoints in the entire Province will be lifted on June 12, Independence Day, while workers who are residents of the province will now be allowed to enter Cebu City and return to their residences starting June 3 to provide the companies time to prepare the necessary documents to be shown at checkpoints.

Workers are required to present their company identification card (ID) and certification from their employers that they are now allowed to work.

“I intend to appeal that. I already talked with the IATF regional chair and DOH Director Jimmy Bernadas that we will appeal because this is not what the province intends to do. Di ta magpabilin nga GCQ. We should move on to the next level and beyond that because we're ready for that,” Garcia told mayors, Cebu congressional representatives, officials of various national government agencies in a meeting on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at the Capitol Social Hall.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier announced that the entire province is placed on a GCQ status based on IATF Resolution No. 41, also placing the cities of Cebu and Mandaue in the same level from its present Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) status.

Meanwhile, all mayors in the province unanimously agreed that all provincial residents can now travel freely from one town to the other without restrictions. 

For stranded individuals, it was agreed that each town will submit a list of stranded individuals within their localities and submit this to the Secretariat of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Cebu on or before June 5.

“Ani na lang, i-inventory ang tanang locally stranded. Tell all barangay captains, kinsa ni sila, asa ni sila manguli. Once ma confirm na ni, you (mayors) will be told nga manguli para duna nay klaro nga pag-receive nila,” Garcia said.

The move is to facilitate the return of stranded individuals within the province to their homes starting June 12 and onwards without going through stringent checkpoints from barangays and especially in sitios who set up barriers.

“Wa na tay checkpoints but take note make use of this time para adtong mga stranded individuals, from one town to the other, mahimoan na og klaro nga kwentada ug masayod ang lungsod nga ulian sila by June 12,” the governor told the mayors. 

Under the MGCQ, Cebu will now further ease restrictions on entertainment, allowing the opening of cinemas, gyms, spas and salons, internet cafés, to name a few.

However, the mayors have also agreed that cockfighting or tigbakay is still not allowed. 

The governor also made mention of the necessity to start masses in churches. Under the MGCQ, masses will now be allowed with a 50 percent capacity of churches. 

Garcia and Bernadas emphasized that health protocols will be followed strictly like physical distancing, wearing of face masks, handwashing and others. (Vanessa L. Almeda)