SBMA law enforcers checking for ID cards and permits among motorists. Photo by Malou Dungog
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority on Monday reimposed curfew in this freeport and reverted to previous entry and mobility restrictions to help curb the resurgence of coronavirus disease infections.
SBMA chair and administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the curfew hours in the Subic Freeport will be from 12 midnight to 5 in the morning effective March 22 until April 4.
She added that personnel travelling to and from work in the freeport during curfew hours would be required to show SBMA-issued gate passes and company ID cards to be allowed movement in the zone.
Cargo deliveries, on the other hand, will be unimpeded at all times in Subic, although their crew would be required to strictly observe health safety protocols like wearing of face mask and face shield.
Eisma also said the SBMA has determined that persons from the “NCR Plus bubble” will be allowed into Subic only for business purposes, and should show email confirmation of appointment in the freeport.
“Those from NCR Plus who would stay in Subic for more than 24 hours will be required to show negative RT-PCR test results with a validity of 24 hours, while persons from MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) areas who would stay here for 4 days and 3 nights or beyond will also be required to undergo RT-PCR test,” Eisma also clarified.
The NCR Plus bubble includes the National Capital Region and the neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite.
The SBMA chief likewise said they would strictly enforce restrictions set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases under Resolution No. 96 that those below 15 years and over 65 years of age, as well as those pregnant or with comorbidities, will not be allowed outside of their residences except for food, work, or exercise.
The SBMA also barred children below 3 years old from Subic beaches, prohibited consumption of alcoholic drinks in public areas, and temporarily banned picnicking at public spaces like the Waterfront, Boardwalk Park, Malawaan Park, and the San Bernardino Road.
In an announcement last Sunday, Eisma also reminded Subic stakeholders to stay home and suspend non-essential travel in view of the “alarming resurgence of the Covid-19 virus and the growing number of new positive cases in the country.”
The SBMA had recorded since last year 50 confirmed Covid-19 cases among Freeport residents, 32 among guests and transient workers, and 30 among SBMA employees, with just six active cases in the three groups as of the moment.
“While the Subic Bay Freeport Zones remains to be one of the urban communities in the country with the least number of cases, we have to take more pro-active measures to protect our ourselves, our family, our livelihood, and the bigger community we live in. We cannot afford another lockdown, so we must do all we can to prevent it,” Eisma pointed out.
She said that to help minimize risks among SBMA employees while continuing to provide services to the public, the SBMA also reverted to alternating teams among its personnel who would man the offices during the two-week period.
“Prudence is always the better part of valor. And with prudence, we ensure our own protection and those of our loved ones and the Subic community. Just as important, we also guarantee that economic activities in Subic continue for all our sake,” Eisma also said.