TACLOBAN CITY – An ordinance which will institutionalize policies and measures once there is an emerging and reemerging disease is set to be approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod members of this city.
The proposed ordinance, “Adopting the protective and precautionary measures against infectious diseases during a state of epidemic or public health emergency,” aims to institutionalize all the health protocols that are set by the government to prevent spread of virus or diseases in times of pandemic.
“In case another pandemic happens, we already know what should be done, like on quarantine, health protocols, disease surveillance unit, border checkpoints. Hopefully this will be used once there is a declaration of public health emergency,” Vice Mayor Jerry “Sambo’ Yaokasin said.
Yaokasin added that they only tackled the ordinance this time due to flip-flopping of the regulations and guidelines set by the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) like the order to install barriers for motorcycle riders to separate the drivers from the back riders.
“If we had enacted this ordinance before and we included that order here, then we have to amend this again,” Yaokasin explained.
Included in the salient provision of the ordinance include physical distancing, mass gathering, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), establishments to have monitoring on people coming in and out of their establishments aside from regular body temperature, for the city health office to have a disease surveillance unit, contact tracing and establishment the border checkpoints, and every establishments and government offices will have to have their own contingency plan.
Also included in the proposed ordinance are provision of mass gathering. However, they did not specify the capacity due to constant changing of guidelines imposed by the NIATF, including physical distancing.
The proposed ordinance has also provision mandating all public transport to conduct regular disinfection of the vehicle, proper sanitation, and protective barrier.
Yaokasin said that a penalty is also included in the measure ranging from P500 to P3,000, depending on the gravity of the offense and with community service of eight hours in first offense, 16 hours for second offense, and 24 hours for third offense.
“Because we have seen the effect of pandemic, that if you raise it too high it’s beyond the reach already. So we wanted at this time, it’s not penalty we are after but for everyone to cooperate,” he said.
The city council is targeting to approve the ordinance during their regular session this week.