Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla on Monday ordered the temporary suspension of mall operations in the province, three days after the general community quarantine (GCQ) was adopted.
Remulla signed an executive order on Sunday which commanded the temporary closure of Bacoor malls, including supermarkets and drugstores operating inside them, until measures for social distancing are set up and submitted by mall operators.
“All malls in Cavite will be temporarily closed after social distancing rules were disregarded before and during mall operations. No social distancing measures were seen implemented,” he said in a Facebook post.
Remulla pointed out several violations were observed such as the use of employee identification cards despite not being on duty to enter the mall, using quarantine passes just to loiter, and going to fastfood restaurants to buy take-out food only to be eaten inside the mall despite the no dine-in policy.
“I’m sorry but the system was abused which is why we need to enforce rules. There are other grocery stores and drugstores in your towns. You may buy your needs there while,” he said.
The governor also warned mall employees who will use their company identification cards for loitering may lose their privileges should they refuse to follow protocols and said that if more protocols are violated in the coming days, strict enforcement of laws may be re-enacted.
“With that attitude, I might enforce again (the) strict movement of people restricted to those essential only. I will study this, depending on the surge in the number of cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) in Cavite,” he said.
Remulla reminded the public that the GCQ is not an excuse to lower one’s guard against COVID-19 and that it was still best to stay at home.
“Remember, the Q in GCQ means quarantine. The danger is not yet over,” he said.
Based on the latest count from the Department of Health, the number of cases in Cavite has reached 317, with 26 recorded deaths and 68 recoveries.