Mayors, workers weigh on shortened curfew hours

Some mayors and workers are divided on the Cabinet’s recommendation to shorten hours during community quarantine due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

On Wednesday, Malacañang said agencies are now recommending local governments to shorten curfews – which are usually enforced from 10 pm to 5 am – by drafting ordinances related to it.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, more workers and buyers are expected to go out by shortening the curfew.

“Kasama rin po sa priority areas para ma-manage ang COVID-19 cases ay pagkonsidera sa mga incremental opening ng mga negosyo sa pamamagitan ng mas maikling hours at mas maraming work shifts para magkaroon nang mas maraming manggagawa at mamimili,” said Roque.

But for Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco, there will definitely be more people coming out on the street even if they are not authorized persons outside of residence (APOR).

APOR refers to people who are allowed to leave while in community quarantine, particularly essential workers.

“With due respect with the Cabinet, hindi ko maintidihan kung bakit kailangang igsian ang hours because mayroon naman tayong tinatawag na APOR, di ba? Itong APOR na ‘to kahit during curfew hours puwede naman silang lumabas. So hindi na dapat igsian yung curfew,” said Tiangco.

Mayors, workers weigh on shortened hours

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, on the other hand, is in favor of shortening the hours because it is a big deal for businesses to operate longer hours, especially as Christmas approaches.

“What we have to really do now is to revive the economy, sapagkat hirap na hirap na rin ang ating ekonomiya at alam niyo naman ang San Juan maliit na lungsod lang kami. We rely heavily on business taxes,” said Zamora.

Some workers share different opinions on the matter.

For construction worker Victor Tepace, they will benefit more from the overtime pay received if the curfew hours are extended.

But call center Joy Mangampo thinks the length of the curfew hours is useless.

But according to former Health chief Esperanza Cabral, it is time to ease the quarantine protocols.