I DON’T understand why many of our brothers in Cebu won’t follow health protocols. Lately, Cebuanos have been known for being ‘pasaway’.
Last year, the Philippine National Police (PNP) sent battalions of cops to Cebu to control thousands of people defying quarantine protocols at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just recently, Cebuano businessmen were at it again. The Cebu City Police Office warned business establishment owners who continue to defy orders from the city government to modify their physical set-up to conform to health protocols on capacity and physical distancing.
Lt. Col. Wilbert Parilla, CCPO deputy chief for operations, said in a press conference the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) have intensified inspection of several establishments that openly violated Mayor Edgardo Labella’s executive order on capacity to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
During inspections by the BPLO, EOC and CCPO personnel, several establishments registered as “resto-bars” were found to be actually functioning as “bars” with physical arrangements not in conformity to their actual activity which is purely entertainment while serving liquor.
Resto-bars in Cebu are serving food and liquor while bars are mainly serving liquor and offering entertainment to their customers, Parilla noted.
To help prevent another spike of COVID-19 cases in this capital city, the BPLO and the EOC conducted intensified inspection and issued show-cause orders to some of the bars, with instructions to change their setup.
Parilla said the city could order the suspension of their operations if they would continue to defy the show cause order.
Lawyer Jared Limquiaco, head of BPLO, said they have “verbally ordered” establishments to retrofit their businesses to conform to the safety protocols for customers.
He said they suspended the operation of one club because of its violation.
Parilla said police stations were instructed to monitor the compliance of these establishments with the order.
There are many ways to further spur economic recovery. One is the inclusion of workers in the business process outsourcing sector in the government’s A4 COVID-19 vaccination priority list.
The BPO sector is one of the economic activities that support the economy as its operations remain open despite quarantine lockdowns.
This is helping the economy in its recovery efforts, in saving jobs, and contribution to dollar revenue generation. That, in turn, is helping solidify further the economic fundamentals of the country and stable credit rating for the country,Trade Chief Ramon Lopez said.
The DTI has endorsed the inclusion of BPO workers in the A4 priority group. The IATF supported the move following justifications that DTI presented on the importance of BPO in the economy, citing huge contribution in export revenues, reaching close to $30 billion a year, bigger than overseas Filipino workers’ remittances.
A DTI attached agency, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority has also requested the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to include the sector in the next group to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines.
Lopez said the BPO sector “didn’t lay off workers and even continued to hire during this pandemic.
The country is one of the biggest BPO players globally, directly employing 1.32 million people and creating four million indirect jobs.
We cannot afford to disrupt its very good momentum, especially in this time of the pandemic.
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