This Week News

This Week in Northern Luzon (April 4 to 10, 2020)

Read on for a roundup of news in Benguet and in Northern Luzon.

By: Antonette Louise Guiao | April 04, 2020
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Northern Luzon, Baguio, Ilocos, community quarantine, COVID-19, Quarantine Updates

Three weeks into enhanced community quarantine, people in Luzon have strictly stayed at home and restricted their movements in order to fight the growing pandemic of COVID-19 in the country. The ECQ has mandated the temporary closures not only of malls but of tourist spots as well in different places in Northern Luzon. Free shuttles are offered to frontliners, and some establishments remain open to serve the public. Read on for the details.

Quarantine Updates

Baguio borders ordered to close

According to Baguio’s City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the borders of Baguio City will now be closed to non-essential travelers and stranded residents. The City of Pines will no longer allow entry of those who are stranded from other provinces except Benguet and non-essential travelers. The ban took effect last March 28, 2020 and will last for two weeks. However, the borders of the province will remain open for all cargoes carrying food and essential items [1 & 2].

Benguet towns under extreme enhanced community quarantine

Following the increasing cases of COVID-19 patients in the Cordillera region, the towns of Benguet, La Trinidad, and Kabayan adapted an extreme enhanced community quarantine. The entire municipality was placed under EECQ last Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 6:00 P.M., and this will last until April 13, 2020 at 6:00 P.M. Vehicles that were issued with vegetable and food lane passes by the Department of Agriculture are the only ones allowed to traverse the national road. No travel passes will be issued during the EECQ. [3]

Baguio closes several tourist spots

Baguio City has temporarily closed down several tourist spots to prioritize the health and safety of the public amid the COVID-19 threat. The city’s Mayor Benjamin Magalong signed an executive order which implemented the temporary closure of the following places:

• Burnham Children’s Park
• Dominican Hill and Heritage Park
• Mines View Park
• Wright Park
• Baguio Convention Center
• Baguio Botanical Center
• Baguio City Public Library

Ilocos Norte under total lockdown

On March 19, 2020, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc issued an executive order which placed Ilocos Norte under total lockdown. The executive order states that no one would be allowed to enter the province except for licensed health workers, peace and order personnel, delivery and merchandise, and those that the governor officially approved. Residents who left the province before the total lockdown will not be allowed to return until after it is lifted. [5]

Traffic News: Transportation

Baguio City releases guidelines on waiver penalties

In line with the enhanced community quarantine, the country’s summer capital adopted several guidelines that will be applied to all public transportation vehicles. These guidelines include the following:

1. All PUVs with numbers ending 3 and 4 will be allowed to confirm their units until May 15, 2020, with Waiver of Penalties.
2. Application for Extension of Validity of Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) with expiry dates from March 17 to April 15 can be filed until May 15, 2020 with Waiver of Penalties.
3. Provisional Authorities and Special Permit issued to PNVs, pubs, TH, Tourist Transport, Taxi, and UV Express with expiry dates covering the period of March 17 to April 15 shall be extended until June 15, 2020 with Waiver of Fees.
4. Compliance Order, Resolutions, and Decisions which direct operators to comply within a certain period and period falls between March 17 to April 15, 2020, shall be allowed to comply until May 15, 2020 with Waiver of Penalties. [6]

SM City Baguio offers free parking

In a social media post, SM City Baguio announced that it will be offering free parking during mall hours starting March 26, 2020 until further notice. The parking fees will be waived in the mall’s North Terrace Parking under the enhanced community quarantine. Overnight charges will still apply. [7]

Ilocos’ free shuttle for frontliners

Ilocos offers free shuttles that will be available for all frontliners, medical personnel, and medical patients. All routes will be available from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M [8]. The routes are as follows:

• Route 1 - Pasuquin Municipal Hall to Provincial Capitol and vice versa
• Route 2 - Dingras Municipal Hall to Provincial Capitol and vice versa
• Route 3 - Piddig Municipal Hall to Provincial Hall and vice versa
• Route 4 - Sarrat Municipal Hall to Provincial Capitol and vice versa.

Shopping Updates

Baguio’s Public Market releases rules

To follow strict social distancing, Baguio City released an advisory on City Market Traffic, Parking & Modeling Pedestrian, and Crowd Flow Movement. The advisory features specific guidelines that must be observed especially by PUVs during the pedestrianization of public markets. The post includes a map of the public market pedestrianized scheme, Baguio City Market’s map and vicinity, temporary designated parking, pick-up, and loading areas for all private vehicles, motorcycles, and public utility jeepneys. You may visit their Facebook page for more details. [9]

Some fast food chains reopened in SM City Baguio

Selected restaurants in SM City Baguio remained open amid the Luzon-wide ECQ. Fast food chains Jollibee located at the lower round and Mang Inasal located at the upper ground floor will be open for take-out only. Jollibee’s operating hours will only be from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. and Mang Inasal will be operational from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. [10]

Xentro Mall Vigan announces operating hours of specific establishments

As of March 30, 2020, Xentro Mall Vigan announced new operating schedules for establishments that offer basic necessities namely Robinsons Supermarket and Robinsons Bank. The supermarket will be open from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and the bank’s operating hours will be from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 p.m. only. [11]

Health News: Baguio hotel opens its doors to frontliners

Baguio’s City Center Hotel opened its doors to all the doctors, physicians, nurses, nursing and transport aides, nurse auxiliaries, med and rad techs, and respiratory therapists in Baguio City. The establishment is offering its rooms as temporary housing for free. To coordinate, you may contact Dr. Sunshine Ang at 0917-506- 8900 or Mr. Tony Ang Jr. at 0917-506-7802. [12]

Holiday: Holy Week celebration changes

Following the strict rules of the enhanced community quarantine, holy masses will not be open to the public. Masses for Palm Sunday will be held online to avoid crowd gatherings and Maundy Thursday Masses will be cancelled. The Mass for the Last Supper will still be held but without the “washing of feet” and procession, and devotees will not be allowed to kiss the Cross on Good Friday. Lastly, the Easter Vigil Mass on Black Saturday will be held at 7:00 P.M. instead of 9:00 P.M. in compliance with the curfew. [13]

Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Northern Luzon.

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About Antonette Louise Guiao
Antonette is a writer, a night owl, an extrovert, and a BTS ARMY. Her spare time is consumed by drawing digital vector art, sleeping, binge-watching Netflix series, and learning how to cook. An adventurer by heart, she aspires to travel the world with her family, try extreme outdoor activities, and taste all sorts of food in different countries.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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