Blowing of ship horns, ringing of church bells signal start Cebu City lockdown

Ryan Macasero
Blowing of ship horns, ringing of church bells signal start Cebu City lockdown
Cebu City's enhanced community quarantine begins noon of Saturday, March 28

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella said he has asked that at noon on Saturday, March 28, ships docked at the port here would blow their horns and churches all over would ring their bells to signal the start of this city’s lockdown.

Like the whole province of  Cebu, this city will impose a lockdown or enhanced community quarantine to level up its fight to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

President Rodrigo Duterte previously referred to the enhanced community quarantine placed over Luzon as a “lockdown.” 

“We want to make sure when we implement (the lockdown)  on March 28, noontime, that people can see, and are aware,” Labella said in a mix of English and Cebuano.  Labella signed executive order 064 putting Cebu City in a lockdown on Thursday, March 26. 

Labella said he decided to begin the lockdown at noon because “if it’s at night, people will be sleeping.”




Cebu City applies a lockdown  after 9 more patients in the province tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.


Department of Health–Central Visayas head Dr. Jaime Bernadas, said, however that these 9 patients are listed as “presumptive positive” cases because their specimens will still be subjected to confirmatory testing by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

DOH said 7 of the 9 “presumptibe positive” cases are from Cebu City.

The enhanced community quarantine means a 24-hour stay-at-home order and border control for all Cebu City residents. 

But there are exemptions. 

These include workers of essential services such as:

  • Food companies;
  • Markets;
  • Medical practitioners officers, hospital staff, nurses and health volunteers;
  • Emergency personnel;
  • All authorized national and local government officials and employees;
  • Drivers and personnel of delivery vehicles of all types of cargo;
  • Construction workers of city projects; 
  • Accredited media personnel;
  • Farmers, fishermen and agri-business personnel; 
  • Persons who seek medical attention or who are already admitted in any medical facility with one companion allowed. 

Workers of establishments exempted from closure may also report for work.

They include: 

  • Workers of food establishments providing take-out or deliver order;
  • Food manufacturers and suppliers;
  • Public markets, supermarkets, groceries, bakeshops, and convenience stores;
  • Water-refilling stations;
  • Veterinary clinics;
  • Animal feed suppliers;
  • Banks and money transfers;
  • Hardware stores;
  • Delivery and courier services
  • Dealers or suppliers of agricultural products, LPG and other petroleum products;
  • Medical supplies and veterinary supplies;
  • Laundry services.

The management of these exempted establishments shall adopt a strict skeletal workforce, implement social distancing measures, provide adequate transportation to their employees.

BPO companies may also operate provided they implement contingency measures mandated by the city. 

For full list of exemptions see full EO here:

Cebu province already signed its EO placing for cities and municipalities under its jurisdiction under enhanced community quarantine. (READ: Cebu province to be placed on lockdown

Beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday, March 27, no more international flights will be allowed to land at the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Domestic flights had stopped earlier after Metro Manila was placed on lockdown. 

There will also be no passenger trips allowed to dock at any of Cebu’s seaports, except for cargo carrying essential goods and supplies.

The Department of Health confirmed 71 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, March 26, bringing the total to 707.  


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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at