February 9, 2023

The city government has issued stricter rules to prevent the possible entry of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

Lawyer Althea Rosanna Alberto, executive officer IV at the Mayor’s Office, said Executive Order 89 is a “preparation” against the spread of the highly transmissible variant.

Among the salient provisions of the EO, which took effect on July 30, is the non-entry in the city of leisure travelers from areas declared under modified enhanced community quarantine, modified general community quarantine, and GCQ with heightened restrictions.

“Only authorized persons outside residence are allowed to travel into the city with the proof of official business in Baguio,” she said.

Alberto added the EO requires private and government workplaces to observe a limit of 50 to 75 percent workforce in the office to avoid crowding and converging.

She said people who are below 18 years old and unvaccinated senior citizens who are going to the city for indispensable travels are required to present a negative result of RT-PCR test result.

Aside from the ban on the operation of bars, the city will strictly implement the modified liquor ban where sale and consumption are prohibited from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. the following day and only incidental to dining and limited in quantity.

Alberto also said the order disallows alcoholic beverages inside construction sites, barracks, and stay-in training centers.

The city’s tightened restrictions on liquor sale and consumption was brought about by clustering of Covid-19 cases since 2020 that were mostly blamed on patients who came from drinking sprees.

She said barangays are directed to help implement the order in their respective jurisdictions.

The order also limits the movement of children five to 17 years old and senior citizens 65 years old and above.

“They are still                       allowed to go out for recreation or leisure but only in outdoor areas and dining is only allowed in al fresco dining establishments,” she said.

However, they are encouraged to stay home for the time being to avoid being infected with Covid-19.

Food establishments on 24/7 operations may continue to operate but must only offer “take-out” services during curfew hours from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

She added wearing of face mask and face shield at all times and observance of the other minimum health standards is a must.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city government continued to pursue expansion activities in terms of isolation capacity, personnel augmentation, and supplies as part of the LGU’s Covid-19 response.

As preparation for the Delta variant, the city has set aside P30 million to fund the purchase of supplies and to stock up supplies like oxygen and oxygen generators.

He added they are fast-tracking the increase in beds of the temporary treatment facilities to 1,020 from the current 789.

“We need to be ready, anytime papalo ang cases,” he said. – PNA