The Bacolod City government is imposing stricter minimum health protocols at the three major public markets, in light of the alarming increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Bacolod.
The stricter implementation started Friday, April 9, at the Central Market and Burgos Market, and Saturday, April 10, at the Libertad Market.
Executive Assistant Ernesto Pineda and Bacolod City Police Ofice (BCPO) – City Operations Management Unit chief, Lt. Col. Lester Leada, conducted meetings with the market vendors prior to the imposition of the stricter health protocols, a press release from the Bacolod Public Information Office said.
The meetings were held to ensure the commitment of the market vendors to help the city in the fight against COVID-19, Pineda said.
The meetings included an orientation on “market mechanisms” aimed at controlling and containing the surge of COVID-19 cases in marketplaces and their adjacent areas, he said.
A briefer on the role and action plan of Task Force Market Disiplina was also presented by Leada.
Task Force Market Disiplina is composed of the BCPO, the Socio-Economic Enterprise Units in the three major markets, the City Legal Office-Enforcement Team, market supervisors, and the Community Information Service Support Group headed by Joseph Nazareno.
“We have this task force to come up with initiatives to counter the spread of the virus. The PNP will provide the necessary police assistance that is needed. We will augment personnel to ensure that our task force will be respected by customers in our markets,” Leada said.
Some task force personnel will be deployed at the major markets to scan and inspect BaCTrac IDs of customers and make sure that social distancing and wearing of face masks and face shields are observed.
Another group will be assigned in and out the market areas to remind the public of the minimum health protocols.
An enforcement team – composed of BCPO and City Legal Office – Enforcement Team personnel – will be conducting a daily “recoridas” around the market areas. Violators may be issued citation tickets, Leada said.
The Force Multipliers CIS-SG, a volunteer group under the City Mayor’s Office -Sectoral Concerns, will be providing additional manpower to augment the enforcement team.
“It (strict enforcement of health protocols) is really okay with us since the COVID-19 cases are increasing. I met with my group and we all agreed to wear face masks and face shields,” said Burgos Vendors’ Association head Lucelyn Dela Paz.
Aside from Dela Paz, presidents of three other associations at Burgos Market also expressed their willingness to cooperate, Burgos Market Supervisor Michelle Malubay said.
“Since we now have a task force, we are assured that they will follow the minimum health protocols,” Malubay said.*