Davao to shift to GCQ from May 16 to 31

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 May) – After nearly six weeks under enhanced community quarantine, the city will shift to general community quarantine starting 12:01 a.m. of May 16 until 11:59 p.m. of May 31, following the review of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Residents wait for their turn to enter Davao City’s Bangkerohan Market Farmer’s Center. Some of those who lined up early Monday morning, 4 May 2020, waited for three hours to get inside the market to buy food supplies. MindaNews photo by GREGORIO C. BUENO

But Executive Order 33 series of 2020, released by Mayor Sara Duterte on Friday, provides that the ECQ in the entire city or specific barangays might be re-implemented any time upon the recommendation of epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists.

Duterte said during a live interview over 87.5 Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) on Friday that the city government has adopted the Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of the Community Quarantine to enforce the 15-day GCQ here.

The mayor reminded residents to stay inside their homes, as the movement of people would still be limited to prevent transmission of the highly contagious coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Exempted from the restriction are those who will buy food and medicines and workers who will report for work.

She said jeepneys would now be allowed to resume operations provided the operators strictly adhere to the distancing rules and install plastic barriers inside the vehicles.

The city government will implement an eight-hour curfew, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., for the benefit of workers who are expected to return to work once the GCQ takes effect.

Based on Department of Trade Industry Memorandum Circular 20-22, industries under category I are allowed to resume on full operational capacity. These are agriculture, forestry, and fisheries; manufacturing and processing plants and the entire value chain of basic food products, essential products, medicine, and medical supplies; hospitals, medical clinics, and health clinics, subject to strict health standards and strict observance of infection prevention and control protocols;

retail establishments; laundry shops; food preparation establishments insofar as take-out and delivery services and water-refilling stations; logistics service providers; delivery services; power, energy, water, information technology and telecommunications; supplies and facilities, including waste disposal services, as well as property management and building utility services; electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply services;

water collection, treatment and supply; water collection, treatment and disposal activities, and materials recovery; sewerage; repair and installation of machinery and equipment; real estate activities; telecommunications; energy companies; gasoline stations; construction workers accredited by the Department of Public Works and Highways; and media establishments.

Category 2 industries that are allowed to resume up to 50% to full operational capacity include other manufacturing activities; mining and quarrying; electronic commerce companies; postal and courier and delivery services; export-oriented companies; essential public and private construction projects; repair of computers and personal household goods; housing service activities; office administrative, office support and other business activities; accommodation; funeral and embalming services; veterinary  clinics; and security and investigation activities.

Establishments classified under Category 3 are allowed 50% work-on-site arrangement, work-from-home, and other alternative work arrangement. These are business process outsourcing companies; banks, money transfer services; microfinance, pawnshops, and credit cooperatives; capital markets, including but not limited to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Philippine Stock Exchange, Philippines Dealing and Exchange Corp., Philippine Securities Settlement Corporation, and Philippine Depository Trust Corp.;

other financial services such as money exchange, insurance, reinsurance, and pension funding, except compulsory social security; legal and accounting; management consultancy activities; architecture and engineering activities; technical testing and analysis; scientific and research development; computer programming; publishing and printing activities; motion picture, video and television program production, sound recording and music publishing activities;

rental and leasing activities, other than real estate; employment activities; other activities such as photography services, fashion, industrial, graphic, and interior design; malls and commercial centers; barbershops and salon; other non-leisure wholesale and retail establishments and activities such as wholesale, retail trade, and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and hardware stores, bookstores, baby care supplies stores and pet stores.

Based on Duterte’s EO, employees of private offices and business establishments that are not exempted from the GCQ may still operate a home office or work-from-home system for their employees, but they are not allowed to open to the public or accept clients or customers in their houses.

Under the GCQ, persons 20 years old and below, senior citizens, and individuals with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks, and pregnant women, will be required to stay indoors, except when indispensable under the circumstances for obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices.

“Those who live alone may get a Food and Medicine pass or whenever possible and if appropriate, ask a neighbor or a friend to help them buy food and medicines. Whenever appropriate, employers should assign their employees in the vulnerable sector to work from home,” the order said.

It also lifted the clustering of barangays in a district for the purposes of travel but the public was advised to avoid the areas identified to be very high risk, high risk and medium risk based on the risk assessment made.

Duterte said the city government will provide a list of barangays with corresponding risk classifications. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)