Resort owners in Barangays Punta Taytay and Pahanocoy in Bacolod have agreed to suspend their operations on Easter Sunday, April 4, in view of the recent sudden spike of COVID-19 cases in the city.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia who met the resort owners said: “This is not a lockdown. This is just a preventive measure.”
The decision to close resorts in Pta. Taytay and neighboring barangays this Holy Week is part of a stricter regulations imposed by the city to prevent the spread of COVID-19, upon the recommendation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Wary of protocol breaches particularly non-observance of social distancing, Leonardia initiated the dialog with business owners in the area.
The open forum gathered business owners operating in Barangays Punta Taytay and Pahanocoy, barangay officials, City Hall officials, members of the City Legal Office – Enforcement Team, and Bacolod City Police Office to discuss matters pertaining to the temporary business closure.
IATF chair Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, also present in the forum, said: “We are here to inform you of the rise of COVID-19 cases in the city. We thought there is no more virus but then, it suddenly spiked.”
City Administrator Em Ang, executive director of the EOC, presented an EOC report showing that Bacolod has recorded 188 active cases in the last 14 days, with a 17% positivity rate from March 23 to 29, 2021.
Helena Flores Olave, representative of Solena’s Beach, said that she is amenable with the one-day closure because she believes that health must be prioritized over money.
Lina Alcala Peña, owner of Alcala Beach, has the same sentiment.
“Although we already have lots of reservation, [but] after listening to the report presented by City Administrator Em Ang on the status of the city with regards to the pandemic, we are now convinced [to suspend operations] because we also believe that health is more important,” said Peña.
Meanwhile, Punta Taytay Punong Barangay Leah Palma appealed to the public to strictly observe the imposed minimum health protocols. “I am appealing to the enforcement team to help us guard the area during the Holy Week and for the beachgoers to also observe health protocols,” she said. “We should limit the people coming in our establishments especially if full capacity is already reached.”
Pahanocoy Punong Barangay Yolanda Noble, meanwhile, requested cooperation from the residents. “This is a protection for all of us. This is a preventive measure of the city. Let us be responsible because there is nothing wrong with observing the Holy Week inside our homes. This is the only thing that the city is asking from us,” Noble said.