By Carla Bauto Deña
CAVITE – Incensed that malls were not able to control the huge deluge of customers in the first two days that the less restrictive general community quarantine (GCQ) was implemented in the province, Governor Jonvic Remulla ordered the temporary closure of malls in Cavite.
“Lahat ng mall sa Cavite ay panandalian sarado dahil sa kanilang pakawalang bisa ng social distancing,” Remulla said in a post on his Facebook page Monday morning, May 18.
“Kahit supermarket at drug store sa loob ng mall ay sarado hanggang maka gawa nang hakbang ukol sa social distancing,” he rued.
Remulla announced the closure order even as he noted that 36 new cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was recorded in the province in the last four days, jacking up the total to 275, as of Sunday, May 17.
“Apat na araw lang kung kailan nagumpisa ang papasok ng GCQ ay halos 40 na bagong kaso. Akala ninyo ang GCQ ay freedom pass,” Remulla wrote in a Facebook post. “Akala ninyo na ang pag bawas ng checkpoint ay pwede na ipagbaliwala ang mga pass para makalabas ng bahay.”
Remulla also stressed that some mall-goers abused the less restrictive GCQ by using their company ID beyond duty hours. There were also shoppers who went out in groups by showing their company IDs and quarantine passes.
“Pag ito ay abusuhin pa lalo, ay baka ikansela ko ang pribeleyo ng mga nagkasala sa work ID,” the governor warned.
He also criticized shoppers who bought take-outs from restaurants, but ate the food in the mall hallways.
Malls are expected to resume operations once they lay out clear plans on social distancing measures.