Negros Occidental eases restrictions on enhanced community quarantine

Marchel P. Espina
Negros Occidental eases restrictions on enhanced community quarantine
'The game plan now is really to go back to normalcy come April 30,' says Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – The provincial government of Negros Occidental has eased some restrictions it imposed in the ongoing enhanced community quarantine to stem coronavirus cases in the province. 

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson signed on Thursday, April 16, the executive order on the gradual transition of the province from enhanced community quarantine to general community quarantine effective 12:01 am of Monday, April 20.

Under a previous EO, the provincial lockdown was supposed to be until April 30.

Under the new order, the provincial government will allow tricycles, with a maximum of 3 passengers; and pedicabs and e-trikes, with only one passenger, to ply the roads, stressing that physical distancing should be observed.

Local government units were also told to devise a scheme to allow only 50% of public transport to operate daily.

The governor also ordered the resumption of government and private construction projects, and that movement of delivery of all employees, equipment, supplies and cargos shall be allowed and not be delayed throughout the province.

Hardware stores should be allowed to operate as these are considered as essential businesses.

The governor also directed that administrative staff of public and private schools in the province to resume their work, maintaining a 50% skeleton workforce.

Lacson stressed that enhanced community quarantine in the province is still in effect until April 30 with minor changes, “which we believe will not be detrimental to our goal of minimizing, if not eliminating this COVID-19 menace.”

“The game plan now is really to go back to normalcy come April 30,” he added.

The Luzon-wide lockdown is supposed to end on April 30.

He also said that drivers were the most hit sector after the enhanced community quarantine was implemented in the province starting March 30.

He stressed that there should still be strict observance of home quarantine, and heightened patrol of seaports and borders, as well as continued closure of borders, ports, and airports in the province.

The governor also reiterated the mandatory use of face mask when going out of the house. He added that returning residents of Negros Occidental will also undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The province has only one COVID-19 case, and that the patient has already recovered from the virus.

Since then, no new cases were reported in the province.

Meanwhile, Bacolod City, the capital city of Negros Occidental but is not under the jurisdiction of the provincial government, will not modify the implementation of its lockdown which is until April 30. –

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