BACOLOD CITY – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson stressed the importance of enforcing uniform curfew hours in the province’s 31 local government units (LGUs) to contain the local transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“We’re really doing this to try to bring down the increase in active cases. For days now, we have a triple-digit increase in the province,” Lacson said in an interview on Monday, the start of the province-wide curfew set from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Bacolod City, the provincial capital, is excluded being a highly-urbanized city, and will maintain its curfew hours from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
“I will even venture to say that it is not safe in Negros Occidental at the present time, but we can do something about it. One of that is really curfew so that people will go home earlier so there’s less movement outside their respective houses,” the governor said.
The curfew hours is provided in Executive Order 21-22 issued by Lacson on April 9.
“(It) shall be enforced until the current surge of infection is contained and all the local chief executives of the component cities and municipalities of the province recommend the lifting thereof,” Lacson said.
Exempted are persons in need of emergency services, personnel in cargo vehicles, and authorized persons outside residence with a valid work schedule and sufficient proof of identification.
Lacson said those who will not follow the curfew hours will be penalized.
“At the start, maybe a warning. They will have to stay overnight in a certain area. But then again, it will not speak well of the Negrenses if they will willfully violate the curfew,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lacson said he is awaiting the response on his request for the province to revert from modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ) due to the “overwhelming spike” in Covid-19 cases.
As of April 11, active cases in Negros Occidental surged to 1,335 from only a two-digit figure in February.
The Western Visayas Regional Inter-Agency Task Force and the Regional Task Force for Covid-19 jointly endorsed the resolution approved on April 10 to the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. (PNA)