Issue of November 15, 2020
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Entry rules at trading post stricter as COVID cases rises
by Ofelia C. Empian

STRICTER PROTOCOLS -- Stricter health protocols prior to entry to the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post have been ordered following the 45 Covid-19 cases involving workers at the vegetable trading center and other private trading centers in the municipality. The mayor initially ordered a “no swab test, no entry” rule but later suspended it, though stressing on the workers’ need to be tested through the mass testing to be conducted in the locality. -- Ofelia Empian

Stricter measures are now put in place at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post after 45 individuals working in public and private trading centers in the municipality have contracted the Covid-19 infection.

Mayor Romeo Salda has urged workers at the LTVTP to observe precaution and the minimum health standards when working or transacting at the facility.

Salda, in an executive order on Nov. 6, has imposed the “no swab results, no entry” for traders, packers, porters, and truckers working at the trading center due to the surge in positive cases.

But on Nov. 9, the mayor has suspended the order in response to the request of vegetable workers who were not able to undergo the earlier mass testing set in the municipality. 

“Most of the disposers do not have swab test results. Preventing their entry will make the farmers suffer because there will be nobody to market or buy the products of the farmers. This does not, however, mean relaxing on the health and safety protocols but instead, the stricter enforcement thereof,” Salda said.

The 45 positive cases, including their close contacts, have been placed on isolation and quarantine facilities.

The Bases Conversion Development Authority, together with the Philippine Red Cross, conducted a series of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing in La Trinidad starting September and the latest was on Nov. 6.

The mayor said they have requested Covid-19 deputy chief implementer and testing czar Sec. Vince Dizon for another round of mass testing for the municipality.

The workers were advised to wear face mask and shields at all times and are barred from wearing slippers, short pants, and sando when reporting to work at the vegetable trading center.

The mayor said around 500 trucks and 3,000 workers transact at the trading facility every day.

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