Blowing of ship horns, ringing of church bells signal start Cebu City lockdown

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella said he has asked that at noon on Saturday, March 28, ships docked at the port here would blow their horns and churches all over would ring their bells to signal the start of this city's lockdown.

Like the whole province of  Cebu, this city will impose a lockdown or enhanced community quarantine to level up its fight to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

President Rodrigo Duterte previously referred to the enhanced community quarantine placed over Luzon as a "lockdown." 

“We want to make sure when we implement (the lockdown)  on March 28, noontime, that people can see, and are aware,” Labella said in a mix of English and Cebuano.  Labella signed executive order 064 putting Cebu City in a lockdown on Thursday, March 26. 

Labella said he decided to begin the lockdown at noon because “if it’s at night, people will be sleeping.”




Cebu City applies a lockdown  after 9 more patients in the province tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.


Department of Health–Central Visayas head Dr. Jaime Bernadas, said, however that these 9 patients are listed as "presumptive positive" cases because their specimens will still be subjected to confirmatory testing by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

DOH said 7 of the 9 "presumptibe positive" cases are from Cebu City.

The enhanced community quarantine means a 24-hour stay-at-home order and border control for all Cebu City residents. 

But there are exemptions. 

These include workers of essential services such as:

Workers of establishments exempted from closure may also report for work.

They include: 

The management of these exempted establishments shall adopt a strict skeletal workforce, implement social distancing measures, provide adequate transportation to their employees.

BPO companies may also operate provided they implement contingency measures mandated by the city. 

For full list of exemptions see full EO here:

Cebu province already signed its EO placing for cities and municipalities under its jurisdiction under enhanced community quarantine. (READ: Cebu province to be placed on lockdown

Beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday, March 27, no more international flights will be allowed to land at the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Domestic flights had stopped earlier after Metro Manila was placed on lockdown. 

There will also be no passenger trips allowed to dock at any of Cebu’s seaports, except for cargo carrying essential goods and supplies.

The Department of Health confirmed 71 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, March 26, bringing the total to 707.  


Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.