Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. will not let down the province’s guard against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as it will follow the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) extension until May 15 approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Tuesday.
Defensor said he already drafted an executive order on the ECQ extension but awaits issuances from the national government before he signs it.
“Our executive order for an extension is already prepared. We have not signed yet because there are issuances from the national government that we wait for EO adjustment. That is the direction that we want because that is right for us,” he said in an interview with DYSI 1323 Super Radyo Iloilo.
The province started to implement the ECQ last March 20. It was supposed to end on April 14 but was extended up to April 30.
There will be “no major changes” in the ECQ extension up to May 15 but the governor said there are measures that he wants to add.
For instance, he said the province can push the capabilities of the agriculture sector to maximize production.
“This is for the farm workers to also mobilize and to have their source of income. We (will) have adjustments in the ECQ because before, it (agriculture sector) was not included in the guidelines,” he said.
Transportation will still be suspended during the ECQ extension.
Vehicles that are allowed to ply are the shuttle services that ferry front-liners from the province to this city. “But that will be subject to social distancing measures,” he said.
The government is also preparing for a “recovery plan” while the province will observe a 15-day ECQ extension.
“Right now, we are already preparing the recovery plan. We are already starting the economy plan for us to know what to stimulate in the economy for our recovery,” he said.
Defensor once again appealed for the Ilonggos to practice self-restraint, have patience and be still as he compared the present health crisis to a situation in a battlefield.
“It is like we are in a bomb shelter. We are not going out yet because if we go out and the bombs will drop once again, we cannot go back to the shelter,” he said.
As of Tuesday, the province of Iloilo remains the top province in Western Visayas with most number of Covid-19 cases at 20. (PNA)
Photo Source: Facebook/TotoDefensorJr