ECQ rules mean Cebu City auto dealers have to shut down

Last night, President Rodrigo Duterte and members of his cabinet announced some updates regarding the status of the quarantines across various regions in the nation.

Some areas like the National Capital Region (AKA: Metro Manila) and surrounding provinces were to remain under the more relaxed General Community Quarantine (GCQ) for now. Other areas of fairly lower risk were to be put under an even more relaxed Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) like Laguna.

Cebu City, however, was a different matter. A seemingly uncontrolled rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 made it clear that the coronavirus was being contracted by more and more people each day, and that prompted a response from the government: the city of Cebu will be placed under the far stricter Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ.

That means several things. The first is that people are ordered to strictly stay home, so much so that quarantine passes (you know, the thing you need to go procure stuff) were canceled, public transport will be fully suspended, and non-essential businesses will be closed.

And that means auto dealers within Cebu City will be closed until the ECQ is lifted.

Remember that under the Enhanced Community Quarantine guidelines, automobile dealerships are not considered an essential industry or business, which is why all dealerships and automotive service stations were closed during the ECQ. Under the General Community Quarantine or GCQ, auto dealers were able to resume operations to sell automobiles and service existing customer cars, but not under ECQ.

We contacted a few dealer principals in Cebu City, and they confirmed to us that dealerships will have to close until the second ECQ is lifted.

Mind you, only dealerships physically located in Cebu City will be closed, but dealerships in neighboring cities (i.e. Mandaue City) will be open for business so long as they are still under GCQ.