Initial transition plan for GCQ presented

Air Force men from the Philippine Air Force – Tactical Operations Group Baguio distributes candies and other goodies to children in Sitio Domolpos, Barangay Tinongdan in Itogon, Benguet during the airlifting of relief goods to the far flung barangays of Itogon over the weekend. **RMC PIA-CAR

May 11, 2020- The City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) presented to the city council the proposed transition plan for the resumption of operations of non-essential business establishments and the operations and activities of the City Government of Baguio under the General Community Quarantine which will take effect in the city starting May 16.
According to Antonette Anaban, Assistant CPD Coordinator, the City Government shall use a “society approach” in implementing the GCQ.
“This approach emphasizes the significant roles played not only by the local government unit’s health sector, but by all other sectors, individuals, families and communities in mitigating the effects of the COVID-19,” Anaban said.
He said the transition plan is still a work in progress awaiting inputs from economists and other credible individuals.
The transition plan was based on the omnibus guidelines on the implementation of the GCQ prepared by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) with a few tweaks.
As per reports from the City Mayor’s Office (CMO), specific guidelines for each sector (arts, business, construction, manufacturing, tourism, etc.) shall be released once finalized. According to the CMO, the transition period from ECQ to GCQ is a gradual shift to the “new normal.”
Under the city’s proposed GCQ guidelines, “essential businesses” that are operational during the ongoing ECQ shall continue their operations during the GCQ from Monday to Saturday. However, grocery stores and other essential establishments, except those located within the City Market, shall remain open until Sunday to cater to senior citizens. Lockdown on Sundays shall still be enforced. However, senior citizens may go out on Sundays to buy groceries and medicines.
The proposed transition plan stipulates that “non-essential businesses” may resume operations provided they are sanctioned by the national IATF under the omnibus guidelines on the implementation of the GCQ. Some non-essential businesses may operate from Monday to Wednesday while the others from Thursday to Saturday.
Non-essential businesses allowed to re-operate during the GCQ shall submit their respective sketch plans and operational guidelines to the Permits and Licensing Division.
The CMO announced that some businesses may be allowed to operate earlier than the others. Schedules of re-opening of businesses are still being prepared.
Anaban also specified business establishments, activities, and individuals that are not allowed to operate during the GCQ. These are the department stores, RTW and second-hand clothing shops, souvenir handicraft shops, massage and spa services, amusement centers, gyms and fitness centers, sports facilities, accommodations, internet shops, tutorial services, tobacco section of the public market, jewelry section, ambulant and sidewalk vendors, watch repair shops, libraries, museums, and other cultural activity venues, gambling and betting activities, travel agencies or tour operators, reservation services and other related activities, activities of membership organizations, group functions inside business establishments.
The re-operation of medical and health clinics shall be subject to clearance from the City Health and Services Office.
Stalls in specific sections of the Baguio City Public Market shall be divided into two groups with different schedules of operation (i.e. Monday-Wednesday and Thursday to Saturday) to maintain physical distancing.
Restaurants shall abide by the guidelines set forth by the Hotels and Restaurants Association of Baguio.
Established market schedules during the ECQ for the barangays, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay shall still be followed under the GCQ.
Construction activities shall only be allowed for critical and priority projects. Operation time is from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Public transport may resume in the city under the GCQ but the occupancy for each public utility vehicle should not exceed 50% of its actual capacity. Operation of public utility vehicles shall stop from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Activities and programs under the GCQ shall include infection prevention and control activities, management of the returning OFWs and local residents, risk communication/intensified public health awareness program, city’s relief operation, Social Amelioration – Emergency Subsidy Assistance (tranche 2), Balik Probinsya Program, provision of Aid to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), livelihood assistance program, Food for Work Program, Foster Care Program, Critical Incidence Stress Debriefing or Psychological Firs Aide (CISD/PFA), Rolling Stores, Market to Home Delivery Service, Rat Catching Activity, preparation of the Baguio Economic Resiliency and Recovery Plan, and preparation of the Baguio City Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan, among others.
Restrictions shall still be put in place in the borders of the city. Only those individuals authorized by the national COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force and those with essential travel passes shall be allowed to enter the city. Overseas Filipino Workers who have coordinated with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administation and returning Baguio residents may be allowed to pass through the city’s borders.
The CMO recently released the guidelines for the implementation of the the Returning Baguio Residents (RBR) Program.
The city shall still maintain the 24-hour curfew applicable to the general public. However, for employers and workers in establishments permitted to operate within the period from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, their curfew spans from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Mass gatherings and unnecessary social gatherings as well as leisure activities shall still be banned in the city.
Physical classes shall remain suspended for the current academic school year. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) may adopt flexible learning arrangements for the completion of the prevailing semester and may operate at a limited capacity for the purpose of receiving students’ requirements and preparing and issuing credentials as per the guidelines of the Commission on Higher Education.
The Department of Education (DepEd) earlier announced that School Year 2020-2021 will open on August 24. DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said curriculums might be updated to accommodate alternative learning systems such as online learning and offline methods like take-home activities and readings.
Work in government offices may be at full operational capacity or under alternative work arrangements as agencies/offices may deem proper in accordance with the Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 10, s. 2020.
The city shall impose safety and sanitation practices to prevent/minimize the transmission of COVID-19. Some of these practices are prescribed through city ordinances.
The campaign against the chewing and spitting of “momma” in the city shall be intensified during the GCQ. Also, the liquor ban shall not be lifted. Sale, distribution, and public consumption of alcoholic products shall still be prohibited.
Movements of non-APORs (Authorized Persons Outside of Residences) shall still be limited to accessing basic needs, accomplishing necessary errands, and attending to medical emergencies and appointments. **Jordan G. Habbiling

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