More businesses OK’d to operate

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Additional businesses are permitted to re-open today with malls okayed at 100% capacity, while churches are allowed to increase its capacity up to 50% after Pres. Rodrigo Duterte downgraded Bacolod’s quarantine status to Modified General Community Quarantine.

In his Executive Order released hours after the the order issued by the president, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said businesses under Category IV shall now be allowed to operate under MGCQ at 50% capacity. This iclude tourist destination, entertainment industry, schools rendering language, driving, dance, acting and voice lessons.

Barber shops, salons, and other personal care service establishments, dine-in restaurants, fast food and food retail establishments, including those in supermarkets, grocery stores, and food preparation establishments are also to continuously operate at 50% capacity.

Hotel and other accommodation are also permitted to operate but only those accredited as provided by law. Establishments are also required to secure a Certificate of Authority to Operate from the Department of Toursim. This will also determine the allowable operational capacity for the specific establishment.

Malls and commercial centers in Bacolod City shall now be allowed to operate at 100% capacity including non-leisure establishments situated and operating therein.

Businesses in the essential goods and services sectors as well as those engaged in providing prime commodities such as supermarkets, public and private wet markets, grocery stores, agri-fishery supply stores, veterinary supply stores, pharmacies, drug stores and other retail establishments under similar business engagements are strongly encouraged to extend their daily store operations to a maximum oftwelve (12) hours convenient to both the customers and the proprietors.

As mandated in the latest Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines with Amendments as ofNovember 19, 2020, and for the personal health and safety of vulnerable members of the community and for the welfare of the community in general, persons below fifteen (15) years old; those who are over sixty-five (65) years of age; those with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities, or other health risks, and pregnant women, shall continue to remain in their residences at all times, except when indispensable under the circumstances for obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices, and for other activities permitted in aforesaid Omnibus Guidelines for these members of the vulnerable sectors, the EO added.

As for the curfew, a daily curfew shall be observed by the general public from 11:00 P.M. until 4:00 A.M. in consonance with Section 3 of City Ordinance No, 934, Series Of 2020, dated August 5, 2020. Those workers on night shifts, public emergencies like fire/ambulance services/other occasions caused by disaster/calamity, and those requiring medical assistance on board PUVs or private vehicles.

But the curfew hours may be adjusted at any time within the duration of the MGCQ, the EO stated. The Catholic church has made an appeal previously to cut short the curfew hours to allow the church to hold the traditional Simbang Gabi.

Meanwhile, the existing partial liquor ban shall be maintained wherein the sale and purchase thereof shall be limited only from 12:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. daily, and with consumption thereof only to be made within private premises.

But despite of the positive development, the mayor stressed the need for cooperation in fighting the spread of COVID-19.

He said: “The best gift that we can give to our loved ones this Christmas is to strictly observe health protocols.”

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