September 4, 2020 (7:24 PM)

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ROXAS REOPENS. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio announces the opening of Roxas Night Market this September 12 and assures to impose physical distancing and other health protocols for the vendors and customers. Photo by Gwyneth Marie Vasquez

After six months of closure due to the pandemic, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio declared that the bustling Roxas Night Market is set to reopen on September 12 under “new normal” operations.

In a live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte-Carpio said only 25 percent of the total number of workers are allowed to operate and will abide by a two-week shifting schedule.

As a requirement before the resumption, all workers will undergo reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

“We will do a ‘baseline swabbing.’ We will swab everyone, including the suppliers, vendors, masseurs, and even the security personnel who will be assigned in the night market. We will test all of them before they can be allowed to enter,” Duterte-Carpio said.

To avoid mass gatherings, there will be only a limited number of customers allowed to enter the night market.

Duterte-Carpio said that the city government wants to revitalize the livelihood of more than 500 night market workers who were forced to halt operations last March 12, due to COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

“Hopefully, maabre nato siya nga di mamahimo nga problem for our COVID-19 pandemic,” the mayor said in an interview last September 2, after the commemoration of the Roxas Night Market bombing.

The city mayor further said that the operating capacity of the market will be increased as long as the outbreak status in the city will not rise.

Beefing up ‘culture of security’

Four years after the bombing incident that killed 15 individuals while leaving 70 injured, the city government commemorated the event calling for vigilance amongst the citizens during these tough times.

The ceremony was joined by the city mayor herself along with a few officials, Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, and only some of the survivors and families of the bereaved as a preventive measure to avoid mass gatherings.

“We will try to put all the security and health protocol nga kinahanglan para dili mausab ang ingani nga terrorist attack and dili siya mahimong contributor sa Covid 19 problem,” Duterte-Carpio said.

Underscoring the role of Dabawenyos in the city’s activities to combat terrorism, Duterte-Carpio urged them to remain vigilant amid the pandemic as attacks can still occur.

The city government has launched a “culture of campaign as part of its anti-terrorism acts that calls Davao citizens to adopt awareness into their lives.

Meanwhile, 51-year-old night market juice vendor and also blast survivor, Nelson Lapiñas, shared his thoughts about the commemoration program.

“Salamat ko nga di na gyud mahitabo ug balik diri sa davao maam kay wala tay kuan ba madaganan aning panghitabo kung kuan, bomb victim. Mao na nga mag amping na lang ta,” Lapiñas told Atenews.



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