Security will still be tight under MGCQ in Cebu City

CEBU CITY—Police will still be very visible on the streets even if the city has transitioned to a less restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

PRO-7 Director Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro (PRO-7 Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)
PRO-7 Director Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro (PRO-7 Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

Police Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, chief of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO 7), said the checkpoints and the quarantine control points in barangays will still be around 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Our extensive information dissemination will still be there as well as the clustered contact tracing teams,” said Ferro.

Ferro urged the public to continue observing health protocols to prevent the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city from increasing again.

 “We won’t let our guard down, we want to sustain our gains. I am asking the Cebuanos not to be complacent because we don’t want to go back to ECQ (enhanced community quarantine),” Ferro said.

Once considered the country’s epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city saw its active COVID-19 cases go down to 635 as of August 31.

Cebu province, composed of 44 towns and six component cities, now has more active cases with 773 as of August 31.

Ferro assured the public that the PRO 7 had enough personnel to ensure the strict implementation of health protocols even if the more than 200 augmentation personnel from Special Action Force, Regions 6 and 8 are no longer in the city.

“We will just fast-track the deployment in the city of the 250 newly graduates to fill the vacuum left by the augmentation team,” said Ferro.

City Mayor Edgardo Labella yesterday (Tuesday) issued Executive Order No. 89 detailing the guidelines in relation to the MGCQ status.

Labella said more establishments will be allowed to operate but the use of community quarantine passes is still required.

The 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will still be in effect for persons “not authorized outside residence.”

Labella welcomed the decision to place the city under MGCQ, saying it showed that the Cebuanos cooperated in the fight against COVID-19.

          “The decision is a recognition of how much we’ve done together as a community to fight this pandemic. I am deeply grateful to all of you for your cooperation, help, and contribution,” Labella said.

          Labella reiterated that observing health protocols will remain a must.

“This change to MGCQ, however, is also a challenge. We know how virulent COVID-19 is and how a single infection can quickly spread. Let us always keep that in mind,” said Labella.