Mayor Evelio Leonardia has urged residents to follow the rules and regulations under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), the new status of the city until September 30.
“The intention of (placing Bacolod) under MECQ is for our own good. We expect inconvenience and adjustments but that is the trade-off so we can achieve our goal to contain or minimize the transmission of Covid-19,” Leonardia said in a video message on Tuesday.
As of Tuesday, Bacolod had 2,056 coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases – 1,291 active cases, 735 recoveries, and 30 deaths.
Like the rest of Bacolodnons, Leonardia said he and other city officials learned that Bacolod would be placed under ECQ while they were conducting an assessment meeting on Monday night.
“The only thing to do now is to implement it because that is the mandate of the IATF. That all local government units (LGUs) in the whole Philippines must take instructions from them,” Leonardia said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has placed Bacolod, as well as Lanao del Sur, under MECQ from September 8 to 30, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) monitored a spike in Covid-19 cases in the two areas.
“It is hereby resolved, that the IATF approves the recommendation of the National Chief Implementer of the Philippines’ Declared National Policy Against Covid-19 to place Lanao del Sur and the City of Bacolod under MECQ from 8 September 2020 until 30 September 2020,” the IATF Resolution 69-A read.
MECQ, the second most strict quarantine classification, requires 100 percent of the population to stay home and prohibits public transportation.
Leonardia said the inconvenience and adjustments would only be temporary as Bacolod aims to reduce its Covid-19 cases.
He added that the city is at an advantage since the President himself and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go have acted swiftly to his urgent appeal for help.
Since the last week of August, the team of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, a member of the IATF-EID who responded to the Cebu crisis in June, has been working closely with the city government to curb the Covid-19 transmission in Bacolod.
Leonardia said Cimatu’s team, which also includes Maj. Gen. Melquiades Feliciano, the deputy implementer of the Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force – Visayas, was “a success story in Cebu.”
Cebu City reached as much as 350 cases daily and now, they are down to only a single digit in a day, he noted.
“With caution and optimism, let us face this problem squarely. We hope that with the help of these people – with their expertise, experience, and their wisdom we can altogether benefit from this,” Leonardia added. (PNA)