The Baguio City Police Office painted portions of the roads leading to the city’s wet and dry public market to ensure that social distancing will be followed by residents.
Photos and videos of this initiative were uploaded on Twitter and Facebook and earned praises online.
Baguio City is among the areas considered in high risk of spreading the novel coronavirus, therefore part of the extended enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until May 15.
Areas considered moderate and low risk are placed under a general community quarantine directive, which is a less stringent version of the former.
The city’s long-running publication Baguio Midland Courier posted photos of this initiative on its Facebook account on April 27.
“The Baguio City Police Office under its director, Col. Allen Rae Co, in coordination with the city government under Mayor Benjie Magalong, has turned creative by painting portions of roads leading to the public market to ensure that marketgoers observe physical distancing,” the caption read.
LOOK: ORGANIZED MARKET DAY IN BAGUIO:APRIL 27, 2020 — The Baguio City Police Office under its dirctor, Col. Allen Rae…
Based on the photos and videos, circles with green footprints were painted on the road, a meter apart from one another. This is the distance that health organizations recommended to prevent people from contracting and spreading COVID-19.
These bright circles serve as marks for Baguio city residents to step on and observe social distancing while buying goods at the public market.
As of press time, the photos made rounds more than 16,000 times on Facebook and then eventually reached local Twitter.
Baguio City Police Office also shared videos of the “effectiveness” of the social distancing marks on its Facebook account. This was shared by the Public Information of Baguio City where the initiative was likewise showered with praises.
“Sana ma-maintain ganito set-up kahit wala ng ECQ,” Facebook user Paz Pangsadan Hombrebueno said.
Poll lawyer Emil Marañon III said that visual cues were all it took to properly implement social or physical distancing in the city.
“Employing visual cues is the only way to properly implement social distancing! Salamat Baguio City for showing us how to do it!” he said on Twitter.
Anton Siy, Pasig City’s chief transport planner, also praised the provincial government and quipped that Filipinos are obedient with “good systems” in place.
“Turns out Pinoys behave when we actually design good systems instead of just whining about ‘disiplina!’” he said.
In the comments thread, a Twitter user also noted that most Filipinos are used to crowded places, thus the need for a good social distancing program.
Another online user also cited the public’s lack of discipline may have been a result of the Duterte administration’s perceived lapse in planning when the quarantine protocols were first imposed.
A Reddit user, meanwhile, praised the provincial government’s overall approach on the implementation of the ECQ guidelines.
As of April 28, 12 of the 28 COVID-19 patients in Baguio City have already recovered, thus making them their recovery rate among the highest in the country. Only one patient had died.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong told CNN Philippines that ten of their 16 active cases are medical frontliners.
He warned that this could increase after they tested all the health workers in the city.
Enforcing social distancing in public markets
Local government units said that public markets, especially in Metro Manila, are among the places where it’s hard to implement social distancing procedures.
Under ECQ rules, Filipinos are still allowed to go out but only to acquire basic essential goods and services, which include food in these state-run establishments.
Some LGUs including the cities of Pasig, Valenzuela, Caloocan, Malabon and others, eventually thought of deploying mobile markets or stores, which are vehicles converted into mini markets, to reduce the number of people going to the main wet markets.