Palawan towns are embracing a “new normal” environment, as they started to gradually reopen select economic sectors after the provincial government issued its guidelines under the general community quarantine (GCQ) on Monday.

Narra mayor Gerandy Danao told Palawan News that there is only minimal difference in the implementation of the GCQ citing establishments such as malls and others were now allowed to operate compared to the relatively restricted sectors under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Kaunti lang naman ang pinagbago pero ‘yong galaw ng tao halos ganoon pa rin ang proseso. Nabago lang dahil nagbukas na ang ibang mga tindahan, bukas na ang mga malls natin, mga kainan bukas sila pero hindi pa pwedeng magpakain at bawal pa rin talaga ang gathering,” Danao said.

Mayor Amy Alvarez of San Vicente municipality has allowed “healthy and physically fit” laborers to resume work while observing physical distancing and wearing of face masks.

In Roxas town, border checkpoints were still in place as inter-municipal travel ban remained in full force.

“No inter-municipality travel pa rin tayo, mas lalo naghigpit tayo sa mga checkpoints natin ngayon to make sure na na walang local transmission ng virus ang makakapasok sa atin,” said Roxas municipal administrator Vic Lagera.

Liquor ban is still not lifted in all municipalities throughout the province to ensure peace and order as the province transitioned to a more relaxed community quarantine.

“[Ang] liqour ban natin dito sa Española tuloy-tuloy ‘yon habang nagpapatupad tayo ng GCQ. Kailangan ay peace and order pa rin tayo,” said Sofronio Española vice mayor Rona Chou.

Curfew, which hours depend on each town, is still being strictly implemented. Social and religious gatherings were still prohibited.

Only workers and sectors from categories I, II, and III were allowed to work and operate. The general population may come out for the purpose of accessing basic necessities provided that wearing of face masks and physical distancing were observed.

Non-leisure stores in malls and shopping centers were allowed to partially open. However, restaurants may only operate for delivery or take out services.

Priority and essential construction projects would soon resume operations in accordance with the guidelines of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Back-ride passengers on motorcycles are still not allowed, but public mass transport within each town has returned under “reduced capacity”. (with reports from Romar Miranda, Jayra Joyce Taboada, Alex Baaco, and Ruil Alabi)