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Bizmen oppose stricter quarantine

BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III

Businessmen are opposed to the call of the Philippine College of Physicians Negros Occidental Chapter to place the province and Bacolod City under stricter quarantine status because of the continued rise in Covid-19 cases.

Edgar Sy, president of the Federation of Bacolod Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc., said that the doctors should also think of the welfare of businessmen, who will be affected in case a stricter quarantine status is implemented.

Sy said that, aside from the businessmen, it will have a drastic effect on the workers as most employers implement the no-work, no-pay policy, adding that instead of strict quarantine status, what is needed is for the people to discipline themselves.

He said that government officials should check the barangays so they could see for themselves what is really happening there because in some areas, the residents do not abide by the protocols, as if they are not afraid of the disease.

Sy said businessmen, including restaurant owners, obey the order of local government units and many of them are, in fact, willing to spend for the vaccination of their employees.

More than 200 business-members of FBCCI decided to shut down operations because of the pandemic, he added.

Frank Carbon, who is the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer, said the government could no longer sustain giving subsidy to those who will lose their jobs, and the businessmen who will be affected, if strict Covid curbs will be implemented.

MORE SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Carbon said that during their meeting several weeks ago with Mayor Evelio Leonardia and the doctors, they already agreed that while Bacolod and Negros Occidental are under the more relaxed Modified General Community Quarantine, there should be additional safety protocols implemented.

He said that they agreed to a longer curfew hours, from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., prohibiting the serving of liquor in public places, banning all forms of gambling, avoiding mass gatherings, and that restaurants should only cater to 30 percent of the venue capacity.

“With these protocols in place, there is no need to elevate the current quarantine status of Bacolod and Negros occidental,” Carbon also said.

In a statement Tuesday, the PCP said the implementation of stricter quarantine status for two weeks will help deter the spread of the virus and will decongest hospitals of Covid-19 patients.

They said that despite the alarm raised by the medical community, bars, coffee shops, and the like are still open without regard for personal and community safety.

The PCP said it seems that they are left unarmed but they will still continue to call and appeal for all Bacolodnons and Negrenses to follow the health protocols.*

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