BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The city government of Bacolod will appeal to the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) against Covid-19 to allow the operation of public transportation in the city even if it is under modified enhanced community quarantine, business leader Frank Carbon revealed last night.
Under MECQ, residents are required to observe strict home quarantine and public transportation was suspended until Sept. 30.
Carbon, Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer, said that business establishments in the city have suffered a big blow as most of their employees and customers rely on public transportation.
“In the past few days, we have no business because there is no transportation, no employees, and no customers,” he added.
He said he was informed yesterday that the Office of the Mayor will appeal to the NIATF to allow public transportation in the city while it is under MECQ.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, who was in the city this week, has said that the MECQ protocols can be altered, and that he advised the mayor to write a letter of consideration that he will endorse to the task force, Carbon said.
Also, no comprehensive plan was presented during the meeting of Galvez and other top national officials with provincial and city executives, along with the business sector and the medical community Wednesday night, Carbon said.
He said the business sector was supposed to present its stand and business continuity plan to the officials, but they were not able to do so. “We wanted to talk to them to consider the massive losses of jobs and business in their comprehensive plan,” he added.
He said that Galvez and the other officials talked about their success in Cebu and how they were able to bring down the cases there.
He opined that officials should put together a plan that will fit the locality, so as not to cause more collateral damage.
He said they are hoping the government could address sooner the economic and livelihood problems brought by the crisis.
Carbon said the business sector will meet today with IATF-Visayas chief deputy implementer, retired Gen. Melquiades Feliciano, and Rep. Francisco Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) for their concerns.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health 6 yesterday reported that Bacolod recorded 106 new Covid cases with 26 recoveries, while there were 53 new cases for Negros Occidental with three recoveries and five deaths.*