Bohol Guv signs EO extending MGCQ

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct. 3 (PIA)  -- Bohol has survived three months of Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) since July, and there would be no reason why it can not last for another two months if only to usher in a safer Christmas for everyone. 

Gov. Arthur Yap, upon signing Executive Order No. 48, effectively extended the MGCQ status in Bohol, citing the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country and a local outbreak in Tubigon town.

The governor saw the need to further extend the effectivity of EO No. 33 which placed Bohol under MGCQ back in July. 

However, despite the loosened status compared to the Enhanced General Community Quarantine back then, the governor’s order empowers local government units (LGUs) and barangays to adopt granular lockdowns when the need arises.

By granular lockdown, the governor means focused and calibrated lockdowns in a sitio, a cluster of sitios, barangays or a cluster of barangays on hard lockdown, including the designation of containment and buffer zones.

The same EO also bans commercial flights or sea trips for Bohol for now. 

His order said only sweeper flights catering to returning and departing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), locally stranded individuals (LSI), and authorized persons outside residence (APOR) shall be allowed on the same duration of the extended MGCQ.

Yap said these trips shall be allowed provided that prior and proper coordination with the receiving LGUs as well as supervised mandatory quarantine and testing protocols shall continue to be implemented.

Along with this, the EO also reminded Boholanos to continue complying with the COVID-19 health and safety protocols such as physical distancing, wearing of face masks and face shields, washing of hands, and proper sanitation and hygiene.

The extended E.O. No 33 is consistent with the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of the Community Quarantine in the Philippines as amended by the Inter Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases which provided for a more relaxed community quarantine. 

However, Bohol expects the same imposed measures and protocols of E.O. No. 48, which still imposes sea and air travel ban, province-wide curfew and home quarantine, partial liquor ban, mandatory use of face masks when leaving the homes, and the imposition of one-household-one pass policy as well as the regulated operation of business establishments under the new normal, in line with the national standards.

E.O. 48 also ordered the closure of all public and private cemeteries from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 to avoid congregation and congestion of people in cemeteries. 

The closure of cemeteries, however, does not affect the schedule of masses and religious services in churches during those dates, but these have to be subject to the allowed capacity and the existing health and safety standards and protocols, according to the governor. 

Yap urged Boholanos to pay homage and respects to their dearly departed prior to and after the announced dates of the closure. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

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