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This Week in Bacolod (June 21 to 28, 2020)

Negros Occidental releases quarantine guidelines for LSIs

By: Shanice Reyes | June 21, 2020
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Bacolod, quarantine,Lockdown Updates, Iloilo, Travel News, Health News, Global News

The City of Bacolod followed the provincial government’s decision to extend the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) to ensure the safety of the public against COVID-19. Local government units (LGUs) also set guidelines in accommodating repatriates amid the MGCQ in the province. Meanwhile, SM City Bacolod conducted a voluntary COVID-19 antibody rapid testing among its mall staff. Read on for more details about the latest COVID-19 news and lockdown updates in Bacolod.

Quarantine Updates: Negros Occidental extends MGCQ until end of June

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Lacson signed Executive Order (EO) 20-26, extending the period of MGCQ in the province until June 30, 2020. The EO also mentioned important guidelines for the entry of locally stranded individuals (LSI) from Cebu, Metro Manila, and Iloilo [1]:

• LSIs from Cebu shall enter the province at the government port in Escalante City only. They should also undergo the mandatory government quarantine in Cadiz and the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test.
• The capacity of the isolation facility in Cadiz City will determine the number of LSI returnees in the province.
• LSIs from Metro Manila and Iloilo are required to pass through thermal scanners upon arrival and submit themselves for RT-PCR testing.

Travel News: Bacolod-Iloilo sea travels to resume after restrictions are lifted

Sea travel from Bacolod to Iloilo and vice versa will not resume until some restrictions set by each LGU are lifted. Weesam Express owner Frank Carbon stated that the permits from Maritime Industry Authority are already secured but operations cannot resume since they will lose income if the concerned LGUs will only allow LSI and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to travel. Carbon plans to see EOs issued by the LGUs first, even though the company is already prepared for the resumption of Fastcraft operations [2].

Shopping News: SM City Bacolod releases statement about confirmed COVID-19 case

In an official statement released online, SM City Bacolod opposed the circulating information online that there was a confirmed COVID-19 case from its employees and tenants. To address the issue and to create a safe and healthy environment for everyone, the mall has also conducted a voluntary COVID-19 antibody rapid testing for all employees and agency frontliners outside the mall premises. The mall also reminded the public to accept information from the Department of Health (DOH) or the LGU only [3].

Payment News: Councilor questioned CENECO’s power rate hike

In a public hearing called by the Sangguniang Panglunsod Committee on Energy and Public Utilities, Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) was questioned on its increased charges and rates during the enhanced community quarantine in the region. Representatives of CENECO explained that they were following the guidelines from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). The advisory of ERC stated that consumers’ billing estimates should be based on the average of the bills in the last three months prior to the ECQ period.

Bacolod Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. expressed that this is unfair and highly disadvantageous to homeowners during the pandemic. Gamboa also requested CENECO to use the actual meter reading when billing consumers, and if any “over-billing” occurs, CENECO is legally bound to return the amount in the next billing period [4].

Health News: Negros Occidental sets protocols at TLJPH lab

To test thousands of travelers arriving in the province, the provincial government set protocols at the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital (TLJPH) Molecular Laboratory in Silay City. Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said that they are in the process of finalizing the protocols while training more medical technicians, conditioning the machines, and reaching the demands to test all the repatriates arriving. The hospital only has 12,000 test kits that must be used wisely, added Diaz. He also mentioned that these tests are for free and whoever says the opposite is spreading false information [5].

Global News: Mexico temporarily stops sending contract workers to Canada

About 5,000 temporary foreign workers are being held back until Mexico has more clarity on why two people died from COVID-19. The two men were employed by different farms in Ontario, which suffers ongoing outbreaks. Ambassador Juan Jose Gomez Camacho also mentioned that his government needs assurances that the situation will be tackled well before sending temporary workers to Canada. He also said that the pause is intended to be temporary [6].

Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Bacolod.

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About Shanice Reyes
Shanice Reyes writes to buy herself good coffee and bike parts. When she's not writing, you can find her playing Ultimate Frisbee, traveling to new places, or hanging out with her dogs and tarantulas. Though she has an irrational fear of heights, she'd love to try sky-diving one day.
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