Bacolod issues MECQ guidelines

Marchel P. Espina
Bacolod issues MECQ guidelines

Empty streets in Bacolod City on the first first day of the 14-day implementation of Border Control Checkup Points on September 6, 2020.

Bacolod City PIO

The city government bares MEQC quarantine rules to be followed from September 8 to 30

The city government of Bacolod has issued guidelines for the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the city that started on Tuesday, September 8.

In issuing Executive Order (EO) No. 60, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the upgraded community quarantine in the city is “intended to slow down the rate of local transmissions and to  serve as a fundamental reminder to our citizens that both the national and city governments are always concerned about the health of the people.”

On September 7, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases recommending that Bacolod City be placed under MECQ from September 8 to September 30.

Under MECQ, residents are required to observe strict home quarantine. They need quarantine passed to leave the house to obtain essential goods and services.

Public transportation was also suspended, while there will be limited movement of people into and out of Bacolod City unless for essential purposes.

The EO stated that commissioned shuttle services for employees of permitted offices or establishments, as well as point-to-point transport services provided by the government, shall be allowed to operate. Priority is given to healthcare workers.

Private transportation such as company shuttles and personal vehicles used by persons authorized outside their residences are also allowed, subject to the guidelines provided by the Department of Transportation. The use of bikes and other non-motorized transportation is strongly encouraged.

Leisure and recreation outside the home will be restricted, while activities that attract social and large gatherings will not be allowed.

The city will continue to impose curfew hours from 10 pm to 4 am.

Business establishments and activities not allowed under MECQ are:

  • Language, driving, dance/acting/voice schools
  • Entertainment industries (such as traditional and drive-in cinemas, theaters, karaoke bars)
  • Libraries, archives, museums and cultural centers
  • Tourist destinations (such as water parks, beaches, resorts)
  • Travel agencies, tour operators, reservation service and related activities
  • Full body massage
  • Tattoo and body piercing
  • Live events (subject to the Department of Tourism’s guidelines on meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions; and business events)
  • Cockfighting and operation of cockpits
  • Beerhouses and similar establishments whose primary business is serving of alcoholic drinks
  • Kid amusement industries
  • Non-essential public and private construction projects
  • Barber shops and salons
  • Establishments offering personal care and aesthetic procedures and services
  • Gyms/fitness studios and sports facilities
  • Testing and tutorial centers
  • Review centers
  • Internet cafes
  • Pet grooming services

Under MECQ, aalls and commercial centers shall be allowed to operate for non-leisure businesses only and on 50% operational capacity.

Businesses in the essential goods and services sectors, as well as those engaged in providing prime commodities such as supermarkets, public and private wet markets, grocery stores, agri-fishery supply stores, veterinary supply stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and other retail establishments, are strongly encouraged to extend their daily store operations to a maximum of 12 hours.

The 3 major public markets – the Central Market, Burgos North Market, and the Libertad South Market – shall be still closed on Sundays for cleaning and sanitation in observance of health protocols and public safety.

Individual outdoor physical activities – such as outdoor walks, jogging, running, or biking – are allowed, while face-to-face or in-person classes at all levels shall be suspended for the duration of the MECQ.

Selling of liquor, wine, beer, or any alcoholic or intoxicating beverage shall be allowed from 12 pm to 6 pm.

The EO also said that checkup points within the city and along its borders will be implemented to enhance police visibility.

As of September 5, the city had 1,723 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 27 deaths and 679 recoveries. –