NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Despite having been given the leeway to adopt shortened curfew hours, municipal mayors have decided to maintain existing measures that are in effect, but would instead allow minors and senior citizens one more day to go outside their homes.
The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) – Bohol unanimously adopted Resolution No. 008, series of 2020, recommending the adoption of new days on which minors and senior citizens are exempted from the province-wide curfew.
Although the new guidelines proposed in said LMP resolution can only be officially enforced when these are embodied in an executive order or a provincial ordinance, the intent is to allow those aged 18-years old and below as well as senior citizens aged 65-years old and above, one more day to go out of their residences, which is on Sundays.
Presently, minors are only allowed to leave their homes on Fridays and Saturdays. Should the new rule be approved, minors will now have a 3-day break from their 24-hour curfew, from Friday to Sunday.
On the other hand, seniors 65-years old and above will now be allowed to break their 24-hour curfew on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
To recall, on March 24, 2020, the SangguniangPanlalawigan (SP) enacted Provincial Ordinance No. 2020-007, enforcing a province-wide general curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
However, during the regular session of the SangguniangPanlalawigan (SP) on Tuesday, the provincial board deleted the provision which set the time residents are restricted from going outside their homes.
In effect, mayors are given the discretion to decide on their own whether to adjust the curfew hours in accordance with the prevailing circumstances in their respective localities.
Gov. Arthur Yap has issued Executive Order No. 52 on November 13, 2020 which listed the earlier imposed curfew on the entire province. The same EO gave local chief executives the authority to introduce modified curfew hours.
LMP vice president and Buenavista Mayor Dave Duallo said during the virtual presser conducted by the provincial government on Friday that municipal mayors have unanimously agreed to maintain the present curfew hours, meaning they will still restrict the public from going out of their residences on the designated curfew in their respective towns, most of which have imposed the 9:00am to 5:00am curfew
However, Tagbilaran Mayor Baba Yap moved city curfew to 10p.m. while Panglao Mayor Nila Montero has implemented town curfew at midnight.