CEBU CITY – The Inter-Agency Task Force’s (IATF) decision to place this city under Alert Level 3 caught the chief of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) by surprise.
Councilor Joel Garganera wondered why the city was placed under a higher alert level when its COVID-19 situation remains at a manageable level despite a sharp increase in new cases.
“I don’t know their basis aside from the increasing numbers of cases. We have other areas that they need to consider, our hospital occupancy, mortalities (none), our degree of response and intervention inspite of the fact that we just survived the strongest typhoon ever hit our city in many decades,” Garganera said.
Aside from Cebu, Mandaue City will also be under Alert Level 3 from January 14 to 31.
The new alert classification was announced by acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles on Wednesday night, Jan. 12.
Garganera only learned of the city’s new alert classification when reporters sought for his comment on Nograles’ announcement.
“Ha? For Cebu City?” a visibly surprised Garganera said when asked to comment on the city’s new alert level.
Garganera assured that there will be no lockdowns after the city was placed under Alert Level 3.
Garganera is also not interested in appealing the IATF’s decision.
“But personally, I am not inclined to appeal because it’s just an exercise in futility and we might as well focus our attention on rebuilding our city from the typhoon,” he said.
Garganera instead appealed to IATF to provide the city a clear parameter in placing the city under the new alert level.
In its January 12 data, the EOC reported that city’s active cases rose to 723 after starting the year with only nine active cases.