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By: Mylen Manto | Published Monday, July 20, 2020
In a press conference held in Barili town, Gov. Gwen Garcia shared her plans to amend the MGCQ Guidelines stated in EO No. 20 to incorporate the newly-issued DTI memorandum allowing more dine-in services and longer hours for food establishments in MGCQ areas. (Lito Tecson)

Instead of 50 percent capacity, 75 percent of dine-in services will soon be allowed in Cebu Province. This is after the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued a memorandum circular increasing the allowed percentage of capacity of dine-in food establishments in areas under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status. 

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia is set to amend the Executive Order (EO) No. 20 which outlines the MGCQ guidelines to be implemented in the Province to incorporate the newly-issued DTI memo.

Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 20-39 amended MC No. 20-37 which DTI issued on June 22, 2020 allowing the dine-in services of restaurants and fastfood businesses to reopen as approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

"I have instructed my chief-of-staff Atty. Frank Dinsay to go over the DTI guidelines 20-39. Maayo ning balita sa atong mga restaurants kay i-allow na ang 75 percent nga capacity (dine-in services). Gawas niana gi-extend pud ang curfew," Garcia stated. 

Under the new DTI guidelines, all restaurants and fastfood businesses shall also be allowed to operate until 11 p.m. Local government units (LGUs) are encouraged to adjust their respective curfew hours to 12 midnight. 

Currently, Cebu Province has a curfew from 10pm until 5am the following day.

“Ganahan gyud kaayo ko aning DTI. Nahibaw man tingali mo sa atong EO ang atong curfew kutob alas 10 sa gabii. But under the new guidelines sa DTI, gi sulti-an na tanang LGU we will be moving the curfew to 12 midnight, so that restaurants and other establishments can open until 11 p.m.,” Garcia said.

MC No. 20-39 will take effect on Tuesday, July 21.

DTI Assistant Secretary Asteria Cabarte said one of the salient points under the new guidelines is the extension of the curfew hours in MGCQ and GCQ areas to allow greater daily turnover of dine-in services and enhance income opportunities for workers.

“Karon nga nakuha na nato ang status nga MGCQ, nindot ni nga kahigayunan nga mukuyog mi aron madali pud ang maong trabaho pagtabang sa atong mga gagmayng negosyante nga naapektuhan kaayo sa pandemic," she stated. 

"So we intend to really go deeper into the body chain of tourism because naa gyud diha naka plastada ang atong mga gagmay kaayo nga negosyante,” Caberte added.

The DTI also aims to help small enterprises such as vendors along the highway as Cebu Province reopens its local tourism as a "health and wellness destination."  

“With the local tourism that we are promoting, we should also enhance kaning atong mga vendors nga naa sa highway. We can assist them on how to merchandise, at least compliant sila sa health standards. Unya because ang atong local tourist man gud sama nato nga dia diri karon mao ni ang klase sa turista nga mamalit gyud, mupalit mog suka, mupalit og silhig, mupalit og prutas, utanun. So we will help them,” she explained. 

Cabarte said a family can sit together in one table while dining inside the restaurants and fastfood establishments. 

“Families living in the same household shall be permitted to dine together in one table provided that they show proof that they stay in one address and that their table/s shall be distanced by at least one meter from other customers’ tables,” she explained.

Open dining spaces and installations of air purifiers are included as additional control measures in the interim guidelines of DTI-Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on the workplace prevention and control of Covid-19.

In the EO No. 20, Garcia stipulated that added precautionary measures using technology which is readily available in the market such as air purification and sterilization and ultra violet (UV) sterilization systems in opened establishments will be utilized to curb Covid-19 aside from the mandatory public health safety standards. (Mylen Manto)