CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said that the final say about a lockdown on any part of the city lies on him with the recommendations of the Department of Health (DOH) and Cebu City Health Department (CHD).
This is in response to the statements of the business sector following the warning of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for a possible lockdown should the rising trend of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue.
The business sector appealed to the EOC not to recommend an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for the city because this might cause a drawback on the economic recovery.
“Even any person can make such statements (on the lockdown). But it’s always the mayor who has the final say with the proper consultation with the health agencies and law enforcement agencies,” said Labella.
The mayor urged the EOC to work harder and talk less to decrease the number of COVID-19 cases in the city.
Meanwhile, Labella assured the public that the lockdowns will be his call in accordance with the recommendations of the health agencies as well since he is the city’s chief executive.
The mayor said that should there be lockdowns, it will be granular or focused only on affected areas as mitigation against severe economic impact.
However, Labella warns that if the circumstance demands another ECQ, he will recommend such to the Interagency Task Force (IATF). This is why the public is urged to follow the health protocols meticulously.
“Anything is always possible taking into account the circumstances,” said the mayor.
Councilor Joel Garganera, for his part, said there is no need to defend the EOC’s warnings and statements or even their work in the COVID-19 response.
“I will not be doing justice if I had to defend EOC, there’s nothing to defend, you be the judge,” he said. /rcg