Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri Jr. has ordered stricter border controls in the landlocked province in northern Mindanao.
Zubiri’s Memorandum 121-2021 issued on Monday, May 31, but made public only on Wednesday, June 2, directed the mayors and chiefs of police across the province to strictly enforce general community quarantine (GCQ) rules.
The order came the same day President Rodrigo Duterte placed Bukidnon under a GCQ classification on the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
Bukidnon is surrounded by the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Agusan del Sur, Davao del Norte, North Cotabato, and the Lanao provinces. The province has been seeing surges in new COVID-19 cases. Province-wide, active cases have reached 1,119 as of last count.
The Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center in Malaybalay City has run out of spaces for the infected, prompting the Provincial Board last week to appeal to private hospitals in the province to take in COVID-19 patients.
Zubiri prohibited people with comorbidities, the pregnant, and those younger than 15 years and older than 60 years from going outside their homes. He said authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) must present valid work identification and submit to medical screening, thermal scanning, a foot bath, and disinfection.
Hansel Echavez, capitol information officer, said workers from abroad and others returning to Bukidnon from other places need to show proof that they tested negative for COVID-19 shortly before their return.
Last week, Zubiri ordered Bukidnon’s mayors to impose curfew hours in their respective cities and towns, and temporarily shut down all tourism destinations.
“Residents are reminded that they can leave the province only for their essential needs,” Echavez said.
In Quezon, Bukidnon, the town government temporarily banned gatherings such as parties, family reunions, wedding receptions, festivals, discos, and team buildings and outings.
Quezon Mayor Pablo Lorenzo III also ordered the temporary closure of bars, videoke bars, resorts, and tourism destinations. Town fairs and cockfights were prohibited, wakes were limited to just three days, and crowds were cut down to 50% of each venue’s capacity.
Eateries, food stalls, and restaurants were allowed to operate between 5 am to 8 pm only.
Quezon is one of the busiest towns in Bukidnon, near North Cotabato and Davao. – Rappler.com