BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
Mayor Evelio Leonardia issued an executive order yesterday imposing a citywide “four-day no movement” period over Bacolod City starting today until Monday while COVID-19 mass testing is underway.
Leonardia, in Executive Order No. 55, Series of 2020, said that during the Timeout Weekend, people entering and exiting Bacolod, and movement within the city will be prohibited.
To enforce the restriction on people’s movement, PNP border check-up points will be installed during the four-day period, the EO said.
The police and force multipliers will be deployed at COVID-19 testing centers to ensure the implementation of the program, public safety and peace and order, it added.
The mayor said those who violate the provisions of the EO will face administrative and criminal sanctions based on applicable laws.
The four-day no movement period is a pro-active measure to enhance the detection of COVID-19 positive cases in order to reduce the transmission rate in the city, he said.
Leonardia pointed out that City Health Officer, Dr. Carmela Gensoli, has reported that COVID-19 cases in Bacolod City are on the rise, and that recently there was a 100 percent increase in just a week.
He said the Bacolod City government is joining the mass testing drive initiated by the provincial government of Negros Occidental, amid deep concern expressed by medical doctors and associations and various other sectors in the city over the rising number of COVID-19 local transmissions.
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, as chair of the Bacolod Inter-Agency Task Force, has been designated task force commander of the mass testing program in Bacolod, Leonardia said.
Meanwhile, the following are exempted from the four-day no movement period:
*Cargo, especially that of essential commodities and products;
*Medical cases requiring treatment or therapy at health facilities in the city;
*Bacolod residents included in the mass testing program;
*Officials of national agencies and commissions, and of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental and the local government units under its jurisdiction;
*Government employees, law enforcers and firefighters delivering essential services;
*Medical frontliners and health workers;
*Drivers of public transportation units with franchises;
*Drivers of company-owned vehicles servicing employees;
*Media practitioners and printers of their newspapers;
*Private security guards who need to report for work;
*Priests and religious ministers administering sacraments and last rites;
*Personnel who need to report for work at funeral homes and crematoriums; and
*Employees of hotels, pension houses, and other accommodation facilities that serve as quarantine centers, and personnel who need to report for work at businesses and industries classified as category 1.
Supermarkets, drug stores, banks, gasoline stations and other establishments providing essential needs are expected to stay open.
Businesses not mentioned in the EO will be closed starting today until Monday, except for public markets that will be closed only until Sunday.*