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Batangas imposes ‘stringent measures’ vs COVID-19

Batangas imposes ‘stringent measures’ vs COVID-19
Maricar Cinco - March 15, 2020

SAN PEDRO CITY, Laguna, Philippines — With three confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Batangas province on Saturday issued “stringent measures,” according to a “quarantine advisory” issued by the provincial government.

The three-page executive order was issued by Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas three hours before its effectivity on Mar.15. The order would be in effect until April 14.

While it contained provisions akin to the “community quarantine” declared in the National Capital Region, the provincial government refused to call it as such as it was “only guided by…and not based on” the resolution of the national government’s Inter-agency Task Force against the infectious disease, the provincial information office said.

Among the salient points were the suspension of classes until April 14 and the strict observance of the one-meter social distancing in work-related meetings, religious activities, and other events.

Non-essential “mass gatherings,” like cockfights and gambling, and even tourist-related activities were prohibited.
Travel with restrictions

Social distancing, of at least “one seat apart,” should also be observed on public transportation, essentially limiting passengers allowed on jeepneys, buses, and sea vessels.

Residents, reporting for work, may travel within the province, as well as in and out of Batangas, by providing authorities with identification cards and as long as they pass through inspections.

“Public transport (land and sea) within Batangas Province is still operational and shall serve passengers going to and from neighboring provinces for work,” the EO read.

But “there shall be no selling of tickets for non-workers going to and passing through Batangas Province,” it added.

The Batangas international seaport remains operational, but travelers should be cleared from triage by the Maritime Industry Authority and the Philippine Port Authority.
14-day home quarantine

Transport of basic goods as well as of cargoes shall “not be hampered.”

Non-residents of Batangas shall undergo inspections by the village officials once they arrive in their place of destination.

In the case of people arriving from abroad or have had a history of recent travel overseas, they are required to report to village officials and submit themselves to a 14-day home quarantine.

The Batangas provincial health office has coordinated with the Bureau of Immigration for a daily list of incoming individuals from other countries.