Mayor Evelio Leonardia issued yesterday Executive Order No. 82, suspending the non-social period/curfew hours on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 in Bacolod City, in observance of Filipino customs and traditions in celebrating Christmas and to welcome the New Year.
The prevailing curfew hours in Bacolod are from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Leonardia said that to provide residents the chance to exercise time-honored customs and traditions during the 2020 Christmas season, he conducted a series of consultations with Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, barangay officials, and the city Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Task Force, to determine the feasibility, practicality, and safety of such policy on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
He said EOC data on Covid-19 cases have shown very significant drops and improvements over the past several weeks on the number of reported daily positive cases, recovery rates, hospital capacity utilization rate, and active cases, among others.
These “have convinced us that suspending the curfew hours on December 24 and December 31 is now an option we can afford to take, provided that all other existing health protocols shall remain in full force and effect”, Leonardia stressed in his EO.
“Nothing in this Executive Order shall be interpreted or be considered to amend, modify, or nullify any and all existing public health safety protocols already imposed under national laws, and under our city ordinances and executive orders”, he added.
The suspension in the implementation of the curfew hours is in celebration of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, respectively, only. The application of such suspension shall expire after such designated dates and time, and are not to be extended nor made recurring unless authorized under another EO, he said.
STRICT QUARANTINES STILL ON
The strict home quarantine of vulnerable persons, by reason of age, co-morbidities, illness, and those covered in the national policy of the Department of Health and/or National and Local IATF shall continue to be enforced, the mayor said.
All other prohibitory acts under EO No. 73, series of 2020, dated Nov. 30, that reverted the City of Bacolod to modified general community quarantine from Dec. 1-31 after the general community quarantine, shall continue to be in full force and effect, he added.
Also, the minimum health protocols requiring the wearing of face masks, face shields, and social distancing in public places must be strictly observed, EO 82 stressed. The fight of Bacolod City against Covid-19, especially based on experiential facts and empirical data in its locality and neighboring local government units, is a call for self-reliance in its partnership with the national government, while the prevailing Filipino customs and traditions may continue to subsist without endangering the mandated health protocols and safety of the community, it added.*CGC