Mayor Edgar Teves of Valencia, Negros Oriental on Tuesday ordered a lockdown in his town from Dec. 2-15 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
A copy of the mayor’s Executive Order No. 47, which the Philippine News Agency obtained, said the decision was arrived at following an emergency meeting with the local Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to discuss the current Covid-19 situation in the locality.
Citing national laws and guidelines including from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the mayor said that during the lockdown period, there will be strict monitoring of entry to his town, which will be limited to essential travel.
Checkpoints shall be set up at all entry/exit points and non-residents will need to present a pass slip to enter the town.
Transport and delivery of essential goods, however, shall remain unhampered.
Meanwhile, the mayor has also temporarily suspended some activities such as the “Sibaan sa Valencia”, “Paunay Market”, ambulant vending, barangay assemblies, and drinking of alcoholic beverages in all public places.
This, as Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion, the incident commander of the provincial IATF-EID, asked the Valencia LGU to control mass gatherings at the town plaza where a giant Christmas tree has been erected.
She noted a Facebook post that showed a large crowd not observing social distancing while enjoying their time at the plaza.
Market and business hours have been shortened from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., while social gatherings such as weddings have been limited to a 50-percent attendance.
During the lockdown, the municipal hall will have a skeleton workforce although some offices may require some employees to report “in the exigency of service” National government agencies are enjoined to operate in the same manner.
The local tourism officer shall take over the function of reviewing and processing documentary requirements of locally stranded individuals and shall head the contact tracing team for Covid-19 infected persons “in view of the temporary inability” of the DILG office in Valencia and the “overburdened personnel” of the Rural Health Unit.
Valencia currently has nine active Covid-19 cases. (PNA)