BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod unanimously approved yesterday the amendment of the curfew ordinance by providing a clause granting the mayor executive prerogative.
This in response to the executive order issued by Mayor Evelio Leonardia to implement a curfew by 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. in Bacolod.
The original curfew ordinance, authored by Councilor Archie Baribar, provides for the observance of curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. for everyone in all public places as part of preventive measures against Covid-19.
Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. yesterday said a provision in the ordinance is the executive prerogative granted to the mayor, notwithstanding the quarantine status of the city.
Because they amended the ordinance by giving the mayor executive prerogative, Gamboa said Leonardia is allowed to issue an executive order specifying the new time for curfew, which can be enforced by Friday.
Gamboa said if the mayor wants to move the curfew to 8 p.m. until 4 a.m., he is allowed to issue an executive order without the approval of the SP.
Meanwhile, three puroks in Barangay 16, Bacolod City, where two Covid positive job order casual employees of the Bacolod City Government live, were sealed off yesterday.
Placed under lockdown were puroks Kingfisher, 3 and Punay involving 13 houses.
Leonardia also appealed to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to provide a moratorium of at least two weeks in between the return of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Bacolod City, so as not to expose the safety of the whole city to “incalculable jeopardy”.
This need for a 2-week moratorium was raised by Councilor Renecito Novero, chair of the Quarantine Centers Action Team, who warned of the health dangers to the general community in case of an overflow of arriving OFWs beyond what local hotels are willing to accommodate for quarantine purposes, a press release from the city said.
“This will provide enough breathing space for everyone and for everything involved in this arduous task of quarantine measures,” Leonardia said in his August 3 letter to OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.
“The uncontrolled number and the indiscriminate frequency of OFWs returning to our city will possibly exceed the available hotel facilities without warning and injudiciously exhaust our local workers. Should this happen, the safety of the whole City will be exposed to incalculable jeopardy,” the mayor stressed.
The letter was also signed by Novero and Councilor Israel Salanga, chair of the Action Team on Returning OFWs.*