(Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated that Batangas is set to be placed on "community quarantine." According to Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas, the province is on "Quarantine Advisory", not on "Community Quarantine," according to a letter sent to ABS-CBN by the governor.)
MANILA (UPDATE 3) — Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas on Saturday issued a quarantine advisory for the province that essentially spelled out measures to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In his Executive Order No. 2HIM2-10 (Series of 2020) that takes effect starting Sunday, Mandanas issued directives governing suspension of classes and school activities, mass gatherings, transportation and security, tourism, work arrangements and hoarding.
NO CLASSES IN ALL LEVELS
Under the measure, classes and school activities in public and private schools are suspended until April 14, and local authorities are "responsible for implementing measures to ensure that students remain in their homes during the class suspension."
LAND AND SEA TRAVEL 'STILL OPERATIONAL'
Land and sea travel in the province will not be suspended to "serve passengers going to and from neighboring provinces for work," but all passengers will be required to present work IDs before they can purchase tickets.
"There shall be no selling of tickets for non-workers going to and passing through Batangas province," the EO said.
Passengers traveling by sea must be cleared by health personnel stationed in ports.
Passengers must sit one seat apart.
Public utility vehicles are required to limit passenger capacity in the following manner:
- UV Express: maximum of 6 passengers, including driver
- Jeepneys, buses, boats: not be more than half of regular capacity, including driver and conductor
"Transport of basic and lifeline commodities such as, but not limited to food, medicines, medical supplies, gas, fuel, and the like, shall not be hampered," it said.
BAN ON TOURISM
The provincial government has also prohibited tourists going to beaches and resorts, and banned mass gatherings that "could strain the planning and response resources" of authorities.
Among the mass gatherings that are not allowed during the period are:
- computer shops
- regular bingo
- movie screenings
Hotel operations will continue, provided that guests fill out a Health Declaration Card and present their passport.
"The hotel management is responsible for safekeeping of the said document for the purpose of possible contact tracing," according to the guidelines.
Necessary congregations such as religious activities and dining in restaurants "may continue so long as strict social distancing" is observed.
"In all cases, strict social distancing measures are required to be observed by their respective managements."
Flexible work arrangements are encouraged, but "all manufacturing, retail and service establishments are advised to remain open."
According to the EO, "merchants and traders are strictly warned against hoarding and increasing prices of basic commodities during this state of calamity."
Cities and municipalities in the province with confirmed cases of COVID-19 may impose community quarantine protocols in their respective jurisdictions.
A number of other areas in the country have also taken measures against the COVID-19, which the World Health Organization has already described as a pandemic.
The disease, which originated from Wuhan, China, has infected 111 people with 8 deaths as of Saturday night.
Globally, COVID-19 has killed nearly 5,000 patients, and infected 110,000 others.