File photo.

The municipality of Taytay has placed its island fishing village of Paly under “extreme community quarantine”, further regulating its fish trade link with Batangas as a measure to prevent a potential spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Mayor Romy Salvame told Palawan News he decided to order the lockdown, effective April 18 to 30, after a group of local fishermen returned from the province.

“Actually, kakaunti lang yan sila, pero ‘yon lang natatakot kasi ang mga taga-Paly kasi galing sila doon [sa Batangas]. Ang sabi nila, hindi naman daw sila bumaba sa kanilang bangka kaya sabi ko kumuha sila ng certification galing sa [Philippine] Coast Guard na hindi sila talaga bumaba. Precaution lang din ang ating ginawa kaya nagpalabas tayo ng EO tungkol dito. Iniiwasan natin madami ang madamay,” Salvame said.

Salvame said that around five fishermen dropped off their live fish export in Batangas, a province with 71 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

“Galing [Barangay] Paly, papuntang Batangas tapos balik. Mga apat yata o lima, ‘yong isang bangka kung ilan ang tao nila doon, ‘yon na ‘yon,” he added.

However, the dates of their fishing venture were still undetermined.

Fishing trade would still be allowed, provided that the fisherfolks acquire the necessary permits from the Municipal Inter-Agency Task Force (MIATF), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Municipal Health Office (MHO), and Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT).

The fishermen who would be returning from their fishing trips will be subjected to the required 14-day quarantine.

The local residents were not permitted to leave the village while the non-residents were subsequently prohibited to enter the said community. Local establishments, such as “talipapa”, grocery stores, and sari-sari stores were only allowed to operate until 4 p.m.

The curfew would also be implemented from 5 p.m. until 5 a.m. (With reports from Bella Mutia)

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.