CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – After more than a week of putting Bukidnon under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri Jr. reverted the province’s status to general community quarantine (GCQ) effective Monday (April 27).

Zubiri declared the entire Bukidnon under ECQ following the confirmation that a local barangay official in Valencia City has tested positive for the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) after attending a cockfight derby in Davao City on March 13.

The local official was Bukidnon’s first Covid-19 case.

With the lifting of the ECQ, Zubiri has issued Executive Order No. 21 with new guidelines that include the opening of businesses to revive the province’s economic movement that was stalled by the lockdown.

The EO 21 was signed April 25 but will take effect April 27. The ECQ was implemented through the issuance of EO 20 on April 13.

In a statement, the governor said the province has complied with the pronouncement of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte on April 24 classifying Bukidnon as a low-risk area thereby implementing a GCQ.

Under the new EO, precautionary measures are still in effect, although the general public is allowed to go out to purchase basic goods.

Those not allowed to go out are the high-risk population, that is, ages 0 to 20 and 60 and up.

“Persons with age ranging from 21 but below who reside with co-morbidities or other risk factors shall stay at home,” the governor said in his EO.

“All persons are enjoined to wear facemasks in all places outside their residences. Strict social distancing shall be observed at all times for the duration of the general community quarantine, in accordance with national guidelines and health advisories,” he also said.

Mass gatherings and religious activities are still prohibited.

In EO 21, the governor allows essential business establishments, offices, and activities to open.

Also, agriculture, food manufacturing, and its entire supply chain, food retail (delivery and take-outs only), grocery stores, convenience stores, and sari-sari stores, health care, logistics, telecommunications, water, energy, internet providers, and media shall remain open, while all agricultural activities shall continue to ensure sufficient food supply across the country.

Zubiri said other businesses and industries, such as production, manufacturing, construction, quarrying, e-commerce, delivery, repair services, maintenance, and housing may resume operations, provided that they observe the minimum prescribed standards on social distancing and other precautionary measures.

Those in the finance, business process outsourcing, non-leisure trade, and other similar services can, however, operate on reduced capacity.

Prohibited from resuming operations are barbershops and beauty parlors and salons, massage clinics and spas, cinemas and movie houses, bars and KTVs, leisure and gaming, indoor and outdoor sports facilities and playground, resorts, swimming pools, parks, tourism sites and other recreational facilities and cockpits, billiard halls, and gyms.

Zubiri said he leaves it to the local government units “the authority to decide which non-essential establishments and offices shall not be allowed to resume operation and I asked the LGUs to issue advisory.” (

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