Cebu’s PBB to be utilized in helping Bacolod, Iloilo prepare for gradual reopening of businesses

CEBU CITY – Project Balik Buhay (PBB), which started in Cebu, will serve as a model for business establishments in the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo.

Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Dino (left) hands over a plaque of appreciation to Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu, who was recognized for his role in the COVID-19 response in Cebu. (Photo via Calvin D. Cordova/MANILA BULLETIN)

          PBB was an initiative of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), local government units, national government agencies and the various business organizations in Cebu that provided guidelines for businesses to prepare for the gradual reopening of business and ensure a safer workplace under an atmosphere of continuous threat coming from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

          Retired Maj. Gen. Melquiades Feliciano, Inter-Agency Task Force deputy chief implementer for the Visayas, lauded PBB as it helped the business sector in Cebu prepare for the gradual reopening of the economy.

          “I will bring this (PBB) to Bacolod and Iloilo as a model to those business establishments there so the businesses there will just copy because Cebu City now has good practice,” Feliciano said in a meeting with government officials and business representatives here last Monday.

PBB was initially intended only for the tri-cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, but local chief executives of the municipalities of Consolacion and Minglanilla and Talisay City in Cebu later on adopted the guidelines.

          “This is one of the significant contributions of this group, not only in Cebu City but throughout the country. This could be applied throughout the country,” Feliciano said.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, IATF chief implementer for the Visayas, lauded Cebu City for having succeeded in bringing down the number of COVID-19 cases.

          "I would like to congratulate Cebu City for being singled out as the most successful operation in the whole country because of what we did from the highest ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) down to the MGCQ (modified general community quarantine)," said Cimatu a day before he left for Bacolod City where he was tasked by President Duterte with the same mission he had in Cebu City two months ago.

          It can be recalled that upon the request of OPAV Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, President Duterte sent Cimatu to Cebu City to address the high number of COVID-19 cases.

          "What we did here, what the people did here is a model for the country, especially in Metro Manila now. And I was surprised that I am now tasked to go to Bacolod and in Bacolod, I'll bring again the model of Cebu. As what we have done here in Cebu, we will (also) do in Bacolod and Iloilo," said Cimatu.

Dino, for his part, thanked Cimatu and Feliciano and handed them plaques of appreciation for their efforts in bringing down COVID-19 cases in Cebu.

          "They are our modern heroes in this pandemic. After their task in Cebu, they will fly to Bacolod and Iloilo City to help other LGUs in the Visayas, where cases are starting to go up," Dino said.

          Feliciano emphasized that cooperation and concerted efforts in the COVID-19 response played a big factor in the lowering of COVID-19 cases in Cebu.