BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The Bacolod City government is issuing home quarantine passes and will set up border controls from September 3 to 15 to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease, based on a consensus of multi-sectoral groups yesterday, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said.
This is response to the appeal of the medical society for a recess or break due to the increasing COVID-19 cases and with hospitals and medical facilities becoming overwhelmed, Leonardia said.
With the legal authority given to him by the Sangguniang Panlungsod to implement stringent measures in the campaign against COVID-19, he said he took up with the business leaders and religious sector the reinstitution of the home quarantine pass policy.
“Meaning, the HQP will again be distributed to our households through the barangay captains and officials so that at the target date of September 3 to 15, in addition to whatever quarantine status the national inter-agency task force (NIATF) will be giving Bacolod, we will have a system where we will only allow those with passes to leave their homes,” the mayor said.
There will be exemptions for people who have work and businesses, but they will follow whatever quarantine status will be given to the city, Leonardia said.
This is an additional feature in the hope that they could reduce the volume of people moving around in the city to lessen the possibility of transmission and spread of COVID-19, he said.
They will also again set up border controls or check up points in the boundaries of Bago, Murcia and Talisay to discourage people who have no important intension or essential business from entering Bacolod.
Also, those from Bacolod who have no essential transaction in other places will not be allowed to leave the city, Leonardia said.
“I hope this message will somehow help us contain the spread of COVID-19 and what we need is the support and cooperation of the people,” he said.
The mayor also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, who responded to their appeal for help and augmentation of medical personnel for Bacolod.
Leonardia said that in just a matter of hours Malacañang responded to their appeal and sent Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Secretary Michael Dino of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, Maj. Gen. Mel Feliciano and Gen. Robert Agen who coordinated with Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., responded by visiting Bacolod and sat down with city officials to plot a game plan against COVID-19.
He pointed out that these were the very same people who were sent by the President to come at the height of the crisis.
“They have succeeded in Cebu and have lowered the volume of cases and we hope to see that happen before our situation worsens. Through their help we can reduce the cases of COVID-19,” Leonardia said.
During their meeting, these officials said that on top of anything, the most important is the cooperation of the people.
It is important for the people to observe health protocols, observe curfew and a liquor ban, and if possible to stay in their homes if they have nothing important to do outside, he added.*