General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera placed the entire city under a one-month Preventive Restriction of Non-essential Travels (PRNT) and “if necessary” a Preventive Suspension of Non-essential Travels (PSNT) on Friday, March 13.

Rivera said the city is implementing travel restrictions as well as a city wide curfew to limit the mobility of residents to help curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

He clarified that the travel restrictions does not cover the shipment of food and other essential goods.

“We have to be prudent on the restrictions because while being strict, we still want to ensure food security and economic stability in the city and the region,” he said in a press conference.

Mayor Rivera also debunked the fake news circulating on social media that the city is on lockdown.

Wala tayong lockdown, ang term is preventive travel restrictions sa mga non-essentials na hindi naman talaga kailangan pumasok ng city at hindi naman talaga emergency. Pag hindi importante huwag na pumasok ng city at wag na rin lumabas,” Rivera stressed.

Ang mga exemptions we will allow, of course, medical reasons, food supplies and case-to-case basis na may mga sakit magpahospital. Those are kailangan papasukin natin at palabasin natin to make sure na hindi papasok ang COVID-19 at hindi din tayo makahawa sa iba mga probinsya,” Rivera added. 

A curfew will be implemented from 9 PM to 4AM to strengthen social distancing measures. Violators will be arrested.

Through a joint collaboration of the LGU GenSan, South Cotabato, and Sarangani, authorities postponed all public activities to combat the COVID-19 infection.

Prices of goods will also be monitored by the Price Monitoring Council by implementing the Price Freeze and applicable portion of the Price Act. 

City officials encouraged the public to maintain the peace and order of the city. Residents should also follow the guidelines released by the government and to not share unverified information online.  (RJ Espartinez)