Bataraza will be put under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from modified GCQ from September 7 to 15 due to the continued rise in COVID-19 infections.

The new quarantine level with heightened limitations is based on Mayor Abraham Ibba’s issuance of Executive Order No. 16, which stipulates that the town’s status may be raised or downgraded as justified by circumstances.

According to the Palawan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office’s (PDRRMO) list of cases as of 10 p.m. on September 5, Bataraza has 33 RT-PCR and five antigen active cases.

The businesses which are not allowed to operate under the new quarantine level are entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, and cinemas.

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Also prohibited are the operations of recreational venues, amusement park, casinos, horse racing, cockfighting, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments. Outdoor sports courts or venues for contact sports, scrimmages, games are also not allowed.

Religious activities are allowed at a maximum venue capacity of 10%, same with gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who die other than COVID-19. Visits to memorial parks and cemeteries shall not also exceed 10 % of the venue capacity.

Gatherings for essential provision of health services, government services, or humanitarian activities authorized by the appropriate government agency are exempted from the prohibition.

Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall be fully operational and operate at a minimum of 30% up to full on-site capacity. Only hotels and accommodations accredited by the Department of Tourism shall be allowed to accommodate guests for legitimate purposes.

Passengers bound for Bataraza must present a negative RT-PCR result obtained within 72 hours prior to and upon arrival in Bataraza, Spass, travel coordination permit (notice of coordination and acceptance), and a valid ID.

Transportation for inbound travelers should be coordinated to the disaster risk and reduction management office of town and travelers coming outside Palawan are subjected to 14-day quarantine to the municipal quarantine facility.

The curfew in Barangay Rio Tuba will start from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. while other barangays will start from 10 p.m. 5 a.m.

Only workers, cargo, public transportation, and operating hours of permitted establishments are exempted from the curfew.

Buying and selling of alcohol and any intoxicating beverages are only allowed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, drinking shall be allowed only inside the houses limited to family members.

The LGU requires persons below 18 years old and above 65, those with other health risks, and pregnant women to remain in their residences, “except for obtaining essential goods and services, or for work in industries and offices.”

Public transportation is allowed to operate at capacity guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation (DoTr) while the use of biking is encouraged. The movement of cargo or delivery vehicles as well as those used by utility companies shall be unhampered but must comply with health standards.

Operation of mining companies and subcontractors
Two mining companies are located in Bataraza, the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation. The LGU is not allowing travel among workers outside the town except for essential travel.

The movement of employees is under the responsibility of the employers and the human resource offices of companies are required to submit travel movement reports to the municipal health office. The employees who will return to work are required to undergo an antigen test taken 24 hours prior to reporting for duty.

Employers may provide temporary shelter for their workers within or near the workplace to ensure their safety. The mandatory submission of an alternative work arrangement plan and mitigating measures on the prevention and control of COVID-19 in the workplace to the MIATF is subject to review and approval prior to the implementation.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.