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LIFE OVER BUSINESS - GOV
By: Mylen Manto | Published Monday, April 27, 2020
With the list of exempted workers trimmed down, Gov. Gwen Garcia explained to businessmen that she cannot risk getting Cebuanos in the province infected by Covid-19. Steps must be made to protect the province and everyone, including businesses, must accept the present circumstances, then adjust and adapt. (Lito Tecson)

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia emphasized she chooses life over business as the province continues to fight off the dreaded Covid-19.

With the rising Covid-19 cases in Cebu City, the governor issued Executive Order No. 5-Q-1 disallowing those working in the supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries, and pizza chains from crossing the borders between the province and the city.

The order stays despite the plea of the officials of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Cebu Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CFCCCI), and Philippine Retailers Association (PRA).

In a meeting with businessmen on Friday, April 24, Garcia stressed that she cannot risk getting the constituents exposed to the virus while many can still move across borders freely. 

“I am probably the most pro-business official that they will probably have met in all of those nine years. Apan karon, kinahanglan ko magpili sa seguridad ug kinabuhi sa akong mga kaigsuonan sa probinsya sa Sugbo ug ang pagpadayon sa komportable nga mga pamaagi sa tagsa-tagsa ka mga negosyo nga karon naapektuhan kay wala matagai og mga exemptions," she said in a press conference that followed.

"And I told them tingali the choice is clear, I will have to choose lives over business,” she added.

Garcia earlier appealed to the affected workers' employers to house them temporarily in the city while Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is in effect.

She asked the businessmen to adjust as "sacrifices will have to be made because Cebu is facing an invisible enemy."

The governor added that steps must be done to protect the province since "the old normal is gone.”

“Once we accept that then we can adjust. We will adjust accordingly. And once we shall have adjusted, then we can adapt. We can adapt to the new normal. That is the way we will go. Ug kaya gyud ni nato kay mga Sugbuanon man ta,” Garcia explained. 

MCCI President Steven Yu said he understood Garcia's point and assured to explain to their members what transpired during the meeting.

“The governor being on top of the island made us see the whole forest and not just the trees. We are learning more and more, this is the new normal,” he said.

Rodrigo Go, CFCCCI president, said businessmen have to accept the new normal and then adjust and adapt.

CCCI President Felix Taguiam said the situation nowadays has to call for self-sufficiency in the future. (Mylen Manto)