The Project Balik Buhay (PBB), a business recovery roadmap that has been implemented in Cebu, will also serve as a model for businesses in the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo, the deputy chief implementer for the Visayas said.
Melquiades Feliciano, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) deputy chief implementer for the Visayas, told government officials and business sector representatives in a gathering in Cebu City that the PBB helped prepare Cebu for the gradual reopening of the economy.
“I will bring this (PBB) to Bacolod and Iloilo as a model to those business establishments there, kaya ‘yong businesses dun’ mangongyopya na lang kasi meron nang good practices ang Cebu City (so the businesses there will just copy because Cebu City now has good practices),” he said.
The PBB is an initiative of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) and local government units, national government agencies, and the various business organizations in Cebu.
The PBB has set guidelines for businesses to prepare for the gradual reopening of the economy and to ensure a safer workplace despite the presence of the coronavirus.
Initially, the PBB guidelines were intended only for the tri-cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.
However, the local chief executives of the municipalities of Consolacion and Minglanilla and Talisay City in Cebu agreed to adopt the guidelines in their areas of jurisdiction.
“This is one of the significant contributions of this group, not only in Cebu City but throughout the country, magagamit ito (this can be applied throughout the country),” Feliciano said. “I have shared this (PBB) to (the) national (IATF) and they have appreciated it.”
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, IATF chief implementer for the Visayas, lauded Cebu City for having succeeded in bringing down the number of cases.
"I would like to congratulate Cebu City for being singled out as the most successful operation in the whole country because of what we did from the highest ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) down to the MGCQ (modified general community quarantine)," Cimatu said.
To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte sent Cimatu to Cebu City to address the high number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases upon the request of Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, presidential assistant for the Visayas.
Once tagged as the Covid-19 hotspot in the whole country, Cebu's successful response will serve as the playbook for other regions as they face the same problem the city experienced months ago.
Meanwhile, Dino thanked Cimatu and Feliciano for their efforts in working hard to bring down Covid-19 cases in Cebu and “in making history out of this pandemic”.
With the entire Cebu now placed under MGCQ, both Cimatu and Feliciano advised Cebuanos to keep observing the minimum health standards, such as wearing of mask and face shield, hand washing, among others.PNA