Bizmen nix ECQ return
NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Aug. 3 (PIA) — Five business organizations in the province of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City cited the urgent need to keep the balance between health and economy as they say “No to the re-imposition of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)” to check the spread of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) infections.
“The business sector in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental is advising against a return to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ),” they said in a media release signed by leaders of major business groups here.
They said quarantine measures are necessary to contain the virus but the measures to be taken should consider the balance between slowing down the rate of infections and its impact on the economy.
“The people of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental are already experiencing the negative impact of the economic downturn due to the quarantine measures imposed earlier and another lockdown may lead to more businesses closing, increased joblessness, more people falling deeper into poverty and its knock-on effects on peace and order,” they added.
Their position further calls for the “full cooperation of the people of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental (in the) imposition of stricter enforcement of health protocol standards, implementing aggressive tracking and improving the monitoring system, and declaring localized lockdowns in areas where community transmission is monitored.”
The business groups said they are supporting measures to help curb the transmission without resorting to ECQ.
These include strictly enforcing discipline and imposing penalties on violators of basic health protocols and empowering of local barangay tanod.
Barangay officials should be held accountable for the strict compliance with minimum health standards in their own sitios, puroks and barangays. The barangays should also be strictly and regularly monitored.
Also, curfew should be imposed, declare a liquor ban to limit movement and prevent unnecessary gatherings and continue to disallow big gatherings.
Industry leaders who signed the appeal include Edgar Sy, President Bacolod Filipino Chinese Chamber and Industry, Inc.; William Ong, President Northern Negros Filipino Chinese of Commerce and Industry, Inc.; Henry Uy, Chairman Negros Occidental Filipino Chinese Amity Club Inc.; Alfonso Cu, President Southern Negros Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. and Roberto Montelibano, President Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“While quarantine measures are necessary to save lives, it is also necessary to reduce the possibility of more lasting damage to the economy. Our local economy may not survive another lockdown and vulnerable people, families, and communities can fall deeper into poverty,” they said. (JSC/Lljr/PIA6 Negros Occidental)