Davao de Oro eyes modified ECQ after April 26

By Warren Elijah Valdez

DAVAO CITY - The province of Davao de Oro is looking at the possibility of imposing a Modified Community Quarantine after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the province ends on April 26.

Provincial Governor Tyron Uy (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN) Provincial Governor Tyron Uy

In a statement released on Wednesday, Provincial Governor Tyron Uy said this is in order to find a balance between ensuring the public’s health safety and economic growth of the province amid the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Uy said the implementation of the ECQ has been effective in curbing the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the province as it has minimized and limited the movement of the people by staying at home, therefore, reducing the possibility of transmission of the disease.

He said the ECQ also posed a big challenge to the economy of Davao de Oro.

“We have seen its big effect on our livelihood. Therefore, after the ECQ this April 26, we need to find a balance. We need to find the balance between ensuring the public's health and safety and sustaining the growth of the economy and livelihood throughout the province,” he said.

“The modified quarantine is what we have seen as a means for this,” Uy added.

Through the modified community quarantine, the governor said they will slowly remove the restrictions implemented under the ECQ, but they will still continue the safety guidelines being imposed in the province.

Davao de Oro was placed under ECQ last April 7. On April 20, the provincial government issued an executive order extending the duration of the quarantine until April 26.

On Tuesday, Uy said that a meeting was held to discuss the Modified Community Quarantine with vice governor Maricar Zamora, the 11 mayors of Davao de Oro, including the Department of Internal and Local Government (DILG) and the province’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC).

The governor noted that it is possible the policies under the modified community quarantine will not be as strict as with the ECQ as some business establishments will already be allowed to open and resume their operations. He added that they will be adjusting or shortening the duration of curfew hours in the province.

Uy also said that the province will apply the “new normal” scenario in the province where people must wear face masks every time they go out and the social distancing will always be observed.

“We will adjust the quarantine guidelines to strike the right balance between public health and our economy. We are facing a new reality. We need to adjust, change our movements, our ways, and our system so that we can cope up and survive,” Uy said.

“As of the moment, we are still finishing and writing the final guidelines for a modified community quarantine. Once it is done, we will ensure to immediately publicize it in our official channels,” he added.