CAVITE, Philippines – Two cities and two municipalities in Cavite, a province just south of Metro Manila, imposed new curbs on the movement of unvaccinated individuals to stem a post-holiday COVID-19 surge.
The city of Bacoor is restricting unvaccinated individuals to their homes and banning them from public transportation unless they need access to essential goods and services.
Mayor Lani Mercado Revilla’s Executive Order No. 03-2022 also requires unvaccinated individuals to undergo regular RT-PCR tests every two weeks at their own expense. They will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result to be admitted for on-site work.
All business establishments will limit entry to fully vaccinated individuals whether they be residents, workers, or visitors.
Minors and those who belong to the vulnerable population will remain at home, except if they have to work at permitted industries and to procure essential goods and services.
Any outdoor exercises for the unvaccinated will be allowed only in the general area of their residence and within subdivisions and barangays.
On Wednesday, January 5, the city administration issued a “no vaccine card, no entry” policy in local and national government offices.
Unvaccinated individuals need to present a negative result of a rapid antigen test or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test as an alternative.
The Bacoor City Office of the Clerk Court-Regional Trial Court announced on Thursday, January 6, that it was closing for a 14-day quarantine period until January 19.
Tagaytay City is banning unvaccinated individuals, whether visitors or residents, from entering business establishments.
The new policy forms part of Mayor Agnes Tolentino’s January 5 addendum to Executive Order 404, which she signed on January 4.
The EO otherwise repeats the Alert Level 3 guidelines of COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The addendum directs establishments to require guests and customers to present their vaccination card before entry.
The mayor also limits intrazonal and interzonal travel to adults 18 to 65 years old.
But her order allows persons below and above this age group to access essential goods and government services, move during emergencies, and work in permitted industries and exercise outdoors.
General Emilio Aguinaldo
In General Emilio Aguinaldo, all unvaccinated individuals are required to take regular RT-PCR tests every two weeks at their own expense.
Mayor Nelia Angeles’ Executive Order 02-2022 imposed the same restrictions to the mobility of unvaccinated individuals as the other local governments mentioned here.
Food and leisure establishments are required to restrict entry to vaccinated individuals.
On Thursday, the municipality of Kawit ordered all unvaccinated individuals to undergo a weekly RT-PCR test at their own expense.
Kawit Mayor Angelo Emilio Aguinaldo’s Executive Order No. 003-2022 directs the unvaccinated to remain at home and bans them from taking public transportation, unless they need to access essential goods and services. It orders all transportation services and business establishments to require proof of vaccination from patrons.
The order covers all non-Kawit residents who work and transact business in the municipality. The order covers even al fresco dining, and entry to malls, event venues, and sports facilities. Any outdoor exercise for the unvaccinated will be allowed only in the general area of their residence, within subdivisions and barangays.
Cavite under Alert Level 3
The IATF placed Cavite under Alert Level 3, along with Bulacan and Rizal from January 5 to 15. It added Laguna, starting January 7.
Under alert level three, the following indoor establishments and activities are allowed to operate at a maximum of 30% of their venue capacity and are limited to fully vaccinated individuals:
- Meeting, conferences, and exhibitions
- Venues for parties and reception
- Recreational venues such as theme parks, arcades, cinemas, internet cafes, and similar venues
- In-person religious gatherings
- Government-administered examinations
- Food establishments
- Personal care establishments
- Gyms and fitness studios
- Media production
Cavite had 2,348 cases as of January 5, the largest number of active COVID-19 cases among provinces in the country.
Governor Jonvic Remulla on January 4 said the daily new case rate in the province had breached 200.
He urged unvaccinated residents to avail themselves of 850,000 vaccine doses in stock. He said 1.1 million doses for booster shots were arriving soon. – with a report from Inday Espina-Varona/Rappler.com
Jerome Sagcal is a Luzon-based journalist and a recipient of the Aries Rufo Fellowship Award.