CEBU CITY – The city’s move to give more mobility to fully vaccinated people drew praises from business groups in the National Capital Region.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion believed that what Cebu City is doing will help revive the economy and should be implemented across the country.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel. I read the news, so I requested an audience with the mayor,” Concepcion said in a virtual meeting with business groups from NCR and Cebu on Friday.
Concepcion was referring to an Executive Oder (EO) that Cebu City Acting Mayor Michael Rama issued on Thursday, giving exclusive perks to vaccinated people.
“I commend you for leading this. I’m impressed with you leading this. I’m glad you were the first to implement something that we are trying to implement,” said Concepcion.
Rama is currently the city’s acting mayor after Mayor Edgardo Labella filed another leave of absence from September 2 to 7.
Under EO 138, only fully vaccinated individuals will have the privilege to dine-in indoors within Cebu City restaurants while non-vaccinated may dine-in but in an outdoor setting or “al fresco.”
Also, only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed to avail of personal care services such as beauty salons, barbershops, beauty parlors and nail spas where personnel of these establishments must be fully vaccinated.
“Leadership in Cebu moves very fast. In NCR, we have a medical group that is very influential, “said Concepcion “Give vaccinated people more mobility so that we can have a greater economic mobility.”
Concepcion said Rama’s EO is the concept of the “Bakuna Bubble” that the business community in NCR has been pushing for.
“Bakuna Bubble doesn’t mean it will insulate everybody from infection. That is not so because vaccinated people can still be infected,” said Concepcion.
Concepcion and Rama shrugged off WHO’s pronouncements that it is still not the right time to employ the “Bakuna Bubble”.
“When is the right time? The right time is now. Let’s do it now while the infection is high because we can test the concept,” said Concepcion.
Rama, who attended the meeting, said what the city is doing is a “paradigm shift” as it will be addressing COVID-19 without resorting to enforcing lockdowns.
“We should not be glorifying COVID-19. We have to live what the world is giving,” said Rama.
Rama said that instead of imposing lockdowns, the city is focusing more on what he termed parental supervised household lockdown.
“It should be no longer a parochial orientation, the real power is with the people. Stay at home and do nothing, economy will go down. Get vaccinated, the economy will go up,” Rama said.
Rama pointed out that he has been meeting with Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, saying that the city’s COVID-19 response is a multi-sectoral approach.
“We are all serious under the leadership of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia. And we act as one. That’s what we were telling last night. We have to act as one Cebu, one voice, one action,” said Rama.
Behind a collective effort, Rama said Cebuano could enjoy Sinulog next year.
“In January we will be having a beautiful Sinulog. We should be united, agreeing, discipline, and conscious. We should not be threatened by COVID,” Rama said.