50 “non-essential” stores closed for violating ECQ rules in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MIndaNews/ 03 May) — The city government has closed more than 50 “non-essential” business establishments that continued to operate even under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period, threatening to put them on blacklist if they violate the closure order.

The city is on extended ECQ until May 15 as it has been classified high-risk due to a huge number of COVID-19 positives. Davao City recorded 124 out of the Davao region’s 141 cases as of 5 p.m. on May 2.  The city has the highest number of cases in Mindanao.

Mayor Sara Duterte created an inspection team tasked to check on the compliance of the establishments to the ECQ rules, the City Information Office reported on Friday.

Claro M. Rector St., in downwtown Davao City in the time of COVID-19 lockdown. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

The team, comprising department heads from the Business Bureau, City Legal Office, City Health Office, Davao City Investment and Promotion Center, Museo Dabawenyo and the Integrated Gender and Development Division, recommended to the mayor the issuance of a cease and desist order against those non-essential establishments that were found operating during ECQ period.

Lorna Mandin, the inspection team leader, said the establishments that were ordered closed included lumber shops, hardware, laundry shops, cellphone accessory stores, gun stores, flower shops, beauty salons, stores selling garments and shoes, and dine-in eateries in Mintal, Tugbok, Calinan, Buhangin, Cabantian, Sandawa, Matina, Toril, Dumoy, Catalunan Pequeno, Bankerohan, and A. Pichon St. and Matina Aplaya.

Under ECQ, Davao City only allows essential establishments such as groceries, supermarkets, wet markets, food commissaries, food processing or manufacturing, food delivery services, wholesale food outlets, convenience stores, sari-sari stores, hospitals, medical laboratories, pharmacies, drugstores, other health services/personnel, banks and ATMs, savings and credit cooperatives. money-transfer services and remittance centers, pawnshops, courier services, other delivery services, doctor’s and dentist’s clinics, gas stations, water refilling stations, LPG stations, business process outsourcing/call centers, funeral parlors, cemeteries, and mass media outlets to operate.

Mandin added that five of the inspected establishments are subject to further investigation by the Davao City Police Office for possible filing of cases.

She said “inspection team conducted a random inspection of business establishment in the city following information posted by concerned citizens on different media platforms of the city government, including in the Davao City Reports and the Operations Center that they remained open despite ECQ guidelines.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)