THE MAYOR of Bacolod has issued an order banning all ships from China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, from docking at any of the city’s ports amid the COVID-19 threat. Executive Order 11-2020, released on Thursday, was signed by Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia on February 26 after meeting with local, health, quarantine, and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) officials to discuss the arrival of M/V Unicorn Bravo, a cargo vessel from Xiamen, China, off the waters of the city. The ship’s captain asked the PCG to allow the 19 crew members to disembark at the Bredco Port. The mayor cited in his order the World Health Organization’s declaration of the new coronavirus disease as a “public health emergency” as well the Philippine government’s current travel ban to and from China and its special regions. “(I)t is the intention of the City Government of Bacolod to assume the position of taking major preventive measures to protect its citizens from possible exposure to carriers or sources of COVID-19,” reads the order. Earlier this month, the Bureau of Quarantine has exempted all cargo ships from the required 14-day quarantine imposed on all vessels from China, Hong Kong, and Macau. The exemption covers the shipments for offloading and not crew members.