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Mayor to oppose MECQ in Bacolod; it will cause unemployment, hunger: VM

“We cannot afford to add more restrictions that will extend the freeze on our economic recovery,” Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said.*Ronnie Baldonado photo

Mayor Evelio Leonardia will oppose the recommendation of the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (NIATF-EID) to place Bacolod City under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) from July 16 to 31.

“We will vigorously appeal against the escalation of our community quarantine status,” he said late Tuesday night, July 13.

“It is not debatable that many Bacolodnons have already lost their jobs and businesses because of the prolonged community quarantine. We cannot afford to add more restrictions that will extend the freeze on
our economic recovery,” he said.

Leonardia said the city government’s battle against COVID-19 has resulted in the reduction of cases by 42 percent in the last two weeks.

“We earnestly hope the NIATF will listen to our appeal which is meant to spare our people from the inconvenience and other undesired effects on our economy,” Leonardia said.

The NIATF-EID recommendation can be appealed before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said.

Familiaran said he does not know why the NIATF-EID recommended that Bacolod be placed under MECQ when in fact its COVID-19 cases are going down.

Bacolod is currently under General Community Quarantine.

A lot of businesses will be affected if Bacolod City is placed under MECQ. Only essential businesses will be allowed to remain open, he said.

Businesses are losing already, this would cause unemployment and hunger, he said.

Churches will also only be allowed 10 percent of their capacity from the current 30 percent, Familiaran said.

Bacolod should be placed under Modified General Community Quarantine, not MECQ, because its COVID-19 situation has improved, he added.

Mayor Jerry Treñas said he was informed that the proposed quarantine classification for Iloilo City and Iloilo province will be Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from July 16 to the end of the month.

“The City of Iloilo will prepare an appeal right away. We cannot afford to close all businesses if we go under ECQ – people will be out of work and everyone will be in a most difficult situation,” Treñas said.*

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