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We were ready for GCQ, mayor says

BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

Bacolod City is prepared for whatever quarantine status the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) against COVID-19 would decide, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said yesterday.

It is the NIATF that decides the quarantine status of Bacolod based on its analysis. That is why despite the fact that Bacolod was placed under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), they included stringent measures, he said.

Leonardia said they were prepared for General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and have even discussed lengthily the matter of the home quarantine passes (HQPs).

The regional director of DILG also wants Bacolod placed under MGCQ, he said.

On July 15, their sources said Bacolod was supposed to be placed under GCQ when it was under MGCQ, Leonardia said.

The mayor said he and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran wrote the NIATF two weeks ago requesting that Bacolod be placed under MGCQ because the number of COVID-19 cases at that time was low. They also informed the NIATF that religious gatherings are following exactly the health protocols being imposed by the city.

“We must sacrifice today for the sake of a better tomorrow. We must fight back because if we do, we will have a better chance,” Leonardia said.

Asked if the city has enough funds available if placed under ECQ, Leonardia said the distribution for the second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) is still ongoing.

A total of P1.3 billion infused to the economy of Bacolod was given to the pockets of the needy in the city.*

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