The city government has temporarily shut down the operations of entertainment and recreation-related establishments effective Tuesday as a control measure against the spread of the deadly 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Mayor Ronnel Rivera ordered the closure through Executive Order (EO) No. 16 issued on Monday afternoon amid fears over the rising confirmed cases of Covid-19 in parts of the country.
He said the business permits of resorts, recreational facilities, internet cafes, bowling lanes, online bingo, electronic games facilities, cockpits, cinemas, karaoke places, bars, arcade shops, and similar establishments are temporarily suspended.
“All these places will temporarily shut down their operation pending the (reactivation) of their business permits,” Rivera said.
Rivera directed the business permits and licensing division and all barangay chairmen to ensure its full compliance and warned that the local government will permanently cancel the business permits of the violators.
The closure order was among the new directives issued by Rivera through six EOs, which all took effect Tuesday, to complement with the travel restriction and curfew implemented starting the weekend.
Under EO No. 13, Rivera ordered the closure of the city international airport to all passenger flights and related operations.
“But the cargo and supply flights will still continue,” the mayor told reporters.
He said the move was in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 922, which declared a public health emergency nationwide, and the raising by the Department of Health (DOH) of Code Red (Sub-level 2) due to the Covid-19 threat.
The President had ordered the suspension of domestic flights from Metro Manila, currently the center of the disease outbreak.
The airport closure affects at least 11 outbound passenger flights from the city to Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, and Clark in Pampanga.
Through EOs 14, 15, 17 and 18, Rivera banned the disembarkation and embarkation of vessel crews in all city ports and ordered stricter land travel in and out of the city, temporary suspension of operations for some establishments, store closure time in compliance with the city-wide curfew and the prohibition of high-risk and vulnerable members of society from public places.
The mayor said the movement of all crew members of incoming vessels docking at the Makar Port, city fish port complex and other private ports in the area are prohibited as they will be considered as persons under monitoring (PUM) for Covid-19.
They will remain inside the vessels and observe self-quarantine for 14 days based on the DOH protocol, he said.
Rivera said travels in and out of the city will be severely limited to essential travels such as “work, business, medical and supply needs,” and passenger buses and vans will limit their passengers to comply with the social distancing directives.
He said all travelers coming in and out of the city will undergo registration and checking process, and directed the city police and the Army-led Joint Task Force GenSan to ensure its proper compliance.
To ensure the proper implementation of the city-wide curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., he said all covered stores and establishments will close at 8:30 p.m. to allow their workers to return home on time.
These include restaurants, convenience stores, and food chain outlets that operate on a 24-hour basis, he said.
Rivera said all “high-risk and vulnerable” individuals should remain in their homes and prohibited from going to public places.
He said this covers minors aged 17-years-old and below, adults aged 60-years-old and above, pregnant women, people who have special medical needs and immuno-compromised individuals.
“As of now, we are still Covid-19 free but we have to implement these drastic measures to protect our city. We really need the cooperation and understanding of everybody on these,” he added. (PNA)