By Junex Doronio
SAYING THAT PUBLIC HEALTH and public welfare should come first, presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio have reimposed a stricter curfew and liquor ban as active Covid-19 cases in the country’s largest city spiked anew.
“There is a pandemic, and it is a public health concern, so kinahanglan nato unahon ang public health, ang general welfare (we need to prioritize public health and general welfare),” Duterte-Carpio said.
It was learned that the EO 55 was in response to the “exhausted” Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) due to the surge of admitted patients. As of October 11, occupancy rate for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds was reportedly 84.85 percent and 84.62 percent for ward beds.
“We deemed it nga kinahanglan i-regulate kanang mga activities nga ginabuhat sa mga tao nga dili essential, dili sila sulod didto sa kanang ginasulti sa IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) Omnibus Guidelines (We deemed it necessary to regulate non-essential activities, or those outside of the IATF Omnibus Guidelines),” Duterte-Carpio explained the rationale of her Executive Order 55 that takes effect on Monday noon, October 12, until December 31, 2020.
However, the mayor set exemptions on the following: all government workers who are on duty during curfew hours; all private office and establishment employees who time in and time out of work within the curfew hours, this shall mean to include their travel to and from their residence; all medical doctors and veterinarians who need to work; and workers of public utility companies (energy, water, internet, etc.) conducting construction, maintenance or emergency activities.
She added that also exempted from the curfew are subsistence and business fishing activities, their vessels are subject to lawful inspection by the Maritime Police, Task Force Davao, Navy or Coast Guard, if there is a reasonable belief that there is illegal activity or unlawful materials in the vessel; individuals attending the wake of a family member; and all medical, emergency and disaster cases.
Duterte-Carpio clarified that the curfew covers only individuals, but offices, establishments, places of worship, and other institutions are encouraged to adjust their operating hours accordingly.
But still. exempted workers should present an employee’s ID to inspectors at checkpoints during curfew hours.
At the same time, there are no more “happy hours” as liquor ban is imposed during the curfew hours. Drinking in public places such as roads, alleys, open spaces, and other similar places is prohibited every day at any given time.
The mayor, however, said mass transportation is also exempted from the curfew.
Even business establishments are also exempted from the curfew but they are encouraged to adjust their operation hours.
“Ang atoang [new] curfew is curfew sa tao. Walay curfew sa establishments. So kamo na mag-decide based sa assessment sa inyohang business. But we encourage na mag adjust mo sa inyohang operating hours (We only imposed curfew to the people, not specifically on establishments. So it is up to them to decide if they would operate beyond curfew. But we encourage them to adjust their operating hours),” Duterte-Carpio pointed out.
With the implementation of the curfew, the Roxas Night Markets operation, which is operating from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. since it reopened last September 12, is shortened to two hours – from 5 p.m to 7 p.m. beginning October 15.
It was gathered that as of October 11, Davao City has a total of 2,363 Covid-19 cases, the highest in the entire Davao Region. Active cases are at 499, while 1,767 already recovered, and 97 died.