LEGAZPI CITY – Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara on Monday placed almost all towns and cities in the province under general community quarantine (GCQ) from modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) due to a surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases.
In a statement on Tuesday, Bichara said his directive was based on the latest report of the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol citing that Covid-19 cases in the province continue to increase.
He issued Executive Order (EO) 16 placing 13 towns and three cities under GCQ until June 15, and amending EO No. 14 issued on May 31 that categorized only Legazpi City and Daraga under GCQ.
Exempted from EO 16 were the towns of Jovellar and Rapu-Rapu due to the low number of coronavirus cases recorded in these areas.
Bichara, who is also the chairperson of the Albay Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), said the decision was made in consultation with the Bicol IATF.
The EO directed all government units to set up and implement tighter health protocols and guidelines to curb the spread of the virus.
Under GCQ, limited movement of people is enforced. Those below 18 and over 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, and pregnant women are required to stay home except when buying essential commodities.
All mass gatherings such as, but not limited to, religious gatherings, necrological services, and visits to memorial parks, including operation of all tourist destinations, are reduced to a maximum of 30 percent capacity.
The local government unit (LGU) may impose a curfew.
A 50/50 split between work-from-home and on-site work is to be allowed for public and private establishments.
Meanwhile, Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal reiterated the protocols and guidelines imposed in this capital city.
“No gathering outside the residences, no gathering at residences with any person outside of one’s immediate household, limited social events at the accredited establishments of the Department of Tourism and Department of Trade and Industry, up to 30 percent only of the venue seating capacity,” an advisory from his office said.
Rosal directed all barangay chairpersons, the Legazpi City Police Station, Legazpi City Fire Station, Public Safety Office, and Task Force Kalinisan, Kaayusan at Kalikasan to strictly enforce the guidelines.
“Any violation of the foregoing prohibitions shall constitute non-cooperation of the person or entities punishable under section 9 par. d or e as the case may be of RA (Republic Act) 11332 and its implementing rules and regulations,” he said.
RA 11332 is the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act”. (PNA)