The city government enforced longer curfew hours here starting Sunday as part of the continuing local response to curb the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The new daily curfew or non-social hours, which starts at 8 p.m. and ends at 4 a.m. the following day, will run for two weeks or until August 22.
“This is one of the measures to minimize the spread of the virus…We will try our best to contain it. Among the stringent measures we could have here in Bacolod is the lengthened curfew hours,” Mayor Evelio Leonardia said in a video message on Sunday night.
The enforcement of longer curfew hours is provided in Executive Order (EO) 52, series of 2020 to implement City Ordinance (CO) 934, which amended CO 927, the city’s original curfew ordinance, setting the curfew hours from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Leonardia said that less than a month ago, Bacolod had just a few positive cases and suddenly, the figures increased.
“Our city health officer took note that on the first week of August our cases increased by 100 percent. We should be vigilant especially now that local transmission is increasing,” he added.
As of Sunday night, Bacolod has 378 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including eight deaths.
Also on August 9, the city government started the first of the three-Sunday lockdowns of the city’s three major public markets, including the Central Market, Burgos North Market and Libertad South Market as provided in the earlier EO 50.
The three markets were closed from 12:01 a.m. to 12 midnight for cleaning and disinfection. This will continue on August 16 and 23.
EO 50 also includes the enforcement of the liquor ban during the period of the extended modified general community quarantine from July 31 to August 15.
Meanwhile, a business group here conceded to the move of the city government to lengthen the curfew hours.
Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), said that saving lives should be paramount to preserving jobs.
“We will submit to the wisdom of our city officials,” Carbon said in a statement on Monday.
The local business community previously asked the city government to reconsider enforcing longer curfew hours.
Five business groups, including MBCCI, said they have yet to regain their footing from the negative impact of the economic downturn due to the necessary quarantine measures imposed earlier this year to stop the spread of Covid-19.
They said that the 8 p.m. start of the curfew can mean reduced business hours and 40 percent less revenue that may lead to more businesses closing, increased joblessness, and more people falling deeper into poverty as well as knock-on effects on peace and order.
“We hope the city could extend financial interventions and other support to the most vulnerable sector,” Carbon said.
Source : Philippines News Agency