BACOLOD CITY–On one hand, it is in keeping with the real spirit of the Holy Week, which is a time for prayer and quiet contemplation, but, on the other, it is an effort to tackle head-on the rising cases of coronavirus in Bacolod City.
Two-fold or not, however, the city government’s recent order to close all mountain and beach resorts in the city on Easter Sunday is being done for the protection of everyone.
Owners of these businesses have agreed to temporarily suspend their operations on April 4, after meeting with city officials on Wednesday, March 31, at Brgy. Alangilan.
The meeting was attended by business owners, barangay officials, City Hall officials, members of the City Legal Office-Enforcement Team, and the Bacolod City Police Office to discuss matters pertaining to the temporary closure, especially since it was noted that thousands of people may flock to Barangays Alangilan and Granada on Easter Sunday as they had in pre-pandemic years.
Biking enthusiasts, in particular, are drawn to the said barangays as they are located in the mountain areas of the city that border neighboring Talisay City.
Alangilan Punong Barangay Degie Tanista Sr. said that, although there were reservations initially, business owners eventually cooperated and agreed to the one-day closure.
“We expect a lot of people on Sunday because it is the highlight [of the Holy Week observance], but I am in favor of this [one-day closure] because it is for our sake and for everyone’s sake, and, also, to prevent the spread of the virus,” Barangay Granada Kagawad Reynold Alunan, a café owner, said.
A similar dialog with resort and business owners in Barangays Punta Taytay and Pahanocoy Tuesday was conducted a day earlier, on March 30.
This Holy Week, Bacolod is observing stricter regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, upon the recommendation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Dr. Anna Ma. Laarni Pornan, concurrent EOC deputy for medical and CDRRMO head, said, “Since January, we have had fewer cases. There were even days when we had zero cases. And although we were not complacent, the numbers suddenly spiked, and we are now averaging 10 cases per day.”
To protect oneself from contracting the virus, Pornan said, one must avoid the “3 Cs”: crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined and enclosed places with poor ventilation.
Bacolod has recorded 188 active cases in the last 14 days, with a 17 percent positivity rate from March 23 to 29, 2021.
The Bacolod City government released Executive Order No. 16 series of 2021 limiting the public activities during the Holy Week to comply with the health and safety protocols that aim to stem the local spread of COVID-19 infections. (Eugene Y. Adiong/iNEWS-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)