MANILA - Iloilo City is moving to reopen its economy amid a lockdown imposed by the provincial government in the whole province, its mayor said Saturday.
In a press briefing on state television, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said it was important to jumpstart the economy in the province, which he said "relies on 58 percent of local income."
“If we do not revive our economy we see a very bleak future especially for next year,” he said.
Iloilo province this July closed its borders with neighboring provinces such as Antique, Capiz and Negros Occidental.
The whole province is currently under modified general community quarantine, except for Alimodian town, which reverted to the enhanced community quarantine - the strictest lockdown measure imposed by the government to curb the virus spread - after a surge in coronavirus cases in the area.
Treñas also said he would inspect malls and other establishments to ensure they follow health protocols.
He said the city would welcome stranded individuals from outside if they test negative for COVID-19.
“As soon as we have negative results they can be allowed to finish their 14-day quarantine in their house,” Treñas said.
Earlier, Treñas said he has been consulting with other city officials to address the issue on stranded individuals and repatriated overseas Filipino workers who test positive for the virus once they set foot in the city.
“We had some issues on some (stranded individuals) and OFWs who are being sent to Iloilo province and cities who turned positive and as I have said we just have to go on. I am already meeting with different sectors in Iloilo City on telling them [that] while we have to follow certain protocols, we just have to move on, we cannot remain in this state forever, otherwise more people will be losing their jobs and when the time comes it will be very difficult to jumpstart the economy again,” Treñas said.