NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Bohol continues to be under General Community Quarantine, contrary to the earlier calculation of Inter-Agency Task Force of (IATF).
Gov. Art Yap had just relayed to the public, in a press conference on Friday, that on Thursday evening (May 28), President Rodrigo Duterte made a pronouncement that Bohol would be already be placed under a Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) starting June 1 until June 15.
However, last night (May 30), the governor relayed to the public through his FB Page, Art Yap, that he received a copy of IATF Resolution 41, series of 2020, dated May 29, 2020 which places the four provinces in Central Visayas (Region VII) and three Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs) in Cebu under GCQ.
This means the community protocols and preventive measures are still in place such as the general curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.; travel ban of incoming passengers; suspension of classes; liquor ban; social distancing; prohibition against mass gatherings; mandatory use of facemasks in public places; regulated operation of business establishments; and the one-household, one-pass policy.
However, just as the governor had announced last Friday, the free days for minors have been changed from Mondays and Fridays to Fridays and Saturdays.
The governor is drafting another executive order which may be finalized this week to harmonize the GCQ guidelines with IATF guidelines.
The IATF for the management of emerging infectious diseases approved Resolution 41 during the 41st IATF meeting on May 29 via video conference.
The Resolution was signed by DOH Sec. Francisco Duque III and IATF co-chair, Cabinet Sec. Karlo Alexei Nograles.
Resolution 41 states that beginning June 1, the community quarantine classification of provinces, HUCs, and Independent Component Cities (ICCs) based on epidemic risk level, economic, social, and security considerations, and the appeals and commitment of local government units (LGUS) shall be adopted.
This is based on the recommendations of the IATF Screening and Validation Committee.
Under Resolution 41, the following provinces, HUCs, and ICCs shall be placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) until June 15: For Visayas: Region VII- -Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Cebu City, Mandaue City, and Lapu-Lapu City.
Luzon areas placed under GCQ include: Pangasinan; Region II- -Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Santiago City; Region III- -Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Angeles City, Olongapo City; Region IV-A- -Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Lucena City; and all HUCs of the National Capital Region (NCR) and the municipality of Pateros.
Mindanao areas uner GCQ are Zamboanga City and Davao City.
The IATF explained that “while classified as high-risk areas, all HUCs of the NCR and the Municipality of Pateros, and Cebu City shall be placed under GCQ until June 15”.
Their respective Regional IATFs (RIATFs) are hereby directed to monitor health system performance, capacity, and strict compliance to surveillance, isolation, and treatment protocols.
Further, Cebu City shall submit their detailed plan on zoning for the City and priority barangays.
All provinces, HUCs, and ICCs shall observe the enforcement of minimum public health standards, strict localized community quarantine in priority areas.
Regional Covid-19 Special Teams shall oversee and assist surveillance monitoring, contract tracing, and isolation for immediate action.
Local chief executives may impose localized quarantine in select areas or establishments with concurrence of the RIATF.
Areas in Luzon placed under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) until June 15 are the following: Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) – -Abra, Apayao, Baguio, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province; Region I- -IlocosNorte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Dagupan City; Region IV-B- -Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Palawan, Puerto Princesa City; and Region V- -Albay, CamarinesNorte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogoon, Legazpi City, and Naga City.
Visayas areas placed under MGCQ are: Region VI- -Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Iloilo City, Bacolod City; and Region VIII- -Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Western Samar, Southern Leyte, Ormoc City, Tacloban City.
Mindanao areas under MGCQ are: Region IX- -Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, ZamboangaSibugay, Isabela City; Region X- -Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City; Region XI- -Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental; Region XII- -North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, General Santos City; Region XIII (Caraga)- -Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Butuan City; and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)- -Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Suli, Tawi-Tawi, Cotabato City.
BARBERSHOPS AND SALONS
Once classified as Category IV or high-risk industries, barbershops and salons are now classified as Category III, based on the recommendations of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The barbershop and salon industry is now allowed to reopen but gradually.
In areas under GCQ, barbershops and salons can begin to reopen on June 7 at 30 percent operational capacity.
The operational capacity of salons and barbershops can gradually increase to 50 percent, provided that venue capacity allows the social distancing protocols.
The gradual increase shall be scheduled every two weeks from the effectivity of Resolution 41, subject to regular assessment of the IATF, provided further that such businesses are compliant with the proper protocols prescribed by the DTI.
In areas under MGCQ, they are allowed at 50 percent of operational capacity, and up to 100 percent after three weeks.
For these purposes, Sections 4(6)(c) of the Omnibus Guidelines is hereby amended such that for Category III Industries: financial services, legal and accounting, and auditing services, professional, scientific, technical, and other non-leisure services, barbershops and salons limited to basic haircutting services, and other non-leisure wholesale and retail establishments from skeletal workforce to 50 percent operational capacity, and without prejudice to work-from-home and other alternative work arrangements.
The foregoing lists of sectors and industries per category are illustrative. Specific industries under each category are reflected in a separate document issued by the DTI which shall contain the updated guidelines to implement the gradual increase of operational capacity without diminution of the current operational capacity previously allowed.
Resolution 41 also states that the resumption of, and continued operation of salons and barbershops shall be subject to their proprietors’ compliance with the proper health protocols set by the DTI. Further, their compliance shall be assessed through a post-audit mechanism which shall be led by the DTI, DOH, LGU health officer and/or other deputized organizations.
In Resolution 41, the IATF cited that as of May 28, there were already a total of 15,588 confirmed cases in the Philippines.
The IATF cited also cited that on March 16, the President placed the entirety of Luzon under Enhanced Community Quarantine until April 14 to prevent the sharp rise of Covid-19 cases in the country.
On March 30, the IATF convened a sub-Technical Working Group tasked to define parameters in assessing recent development in the Philippine Covid-19 situation to develop a science-based approach in determining whether the ECQ in Luzon should be totally or partially lifted, extended, or expanded to other areas.
On April 3, the IATF finalized the parameters for deciding on the lifting or extension of the ECQ in Luzon, which include trends on the Covid-19 epidemiological curve, the health capacity of the country, social factors, economic factors, and security factors.
On April 30, the Office of the Executive Secretary issued Executive Order 112, imposing an ECQ in high-risk geographic areas of the Philippines and a General Community Quarantine in the rest of the country from May 1 to May 15, adopting the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of the community quarantine in the Philippines.