Monday, 24 August 2020 06:36

Moreno tells store owners: Avoid breaching health safety protocols

Written by Stephen Capillas
Moreno tells store owners: Avoid breaching health safety protocols Photos by Nicasio Anches with mall shoppers photo sourced from Cagayan de Oro City Police Office Police Station 2 Facebook page

In protecting public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government should also find ways to allow workers and business owners to earn an income or livelihood, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno said Monday noon (Aug. 17).

“That´s why there is a calibrated or gradual opening of the economy. We at City Hall realize that the more openings you make, the more risks you take...but how long can we survive (without opening the economy?) That´s why we have to find ways (to ensure public compliance to) minimum health safety standards/non-pharmaceutical interventions,” Mayor Moreno said during Monday noon´s press briefing.

Mayor Moreno said this in response to last Saturday´s incident involving a sports apparel store inside a mall that drew a large crowd after it sponsored an 80 percent discount promo sale on its sports shoes. City Hall´s Regulatory Compliance Board (RCB) had to immediately intervene and stop the sale with assistance from the city police.

Both Mayor Moreno and RCB chairman Jose Edgardo Uy said the store and mall managements quickly complied and suspended the promo sale that day. “I issued a permit to the store owners reminding them to strictly comply and enforce minimum health safety protocols like physical distancing, wearing of face masks and hand sanitation among others,” Mayor Moreno said.

The problem arose when the store owner declared an 80 percent discount shoe sale that caused shoppers to crowd inside the store in violation of physical distancing rules.

“It was a good thing that the store owner and mall management didn´t resist in suspending the sale because the security personnel were unable to control the crowd, making it necessary for the police to step in,” Uy said during Monday morning´s press briefing.

Uy said store owners are required to submit their plan on compliance to minimum health safety protocols including crowd control in order to ensure physical distancing among shoppers. “The mall incident should serve as a reminder and a lesson for store owners to comply with health protocols (and avoid mass infection),” Uy said.

“How do we not compromise on public health (without sacrificing the right and need of workers and business owners to earn an income/livelihood?), that´s the dilemma faced by government in this pandemic and it´s a difficult balancing act for them. Since there is a pandemic, business owners in cooperation with government should find ways to make sales while avoiding overcrowding (to protect their customers),” Mayor Moreno said.