Follow quarantine protocols, Cebu governor told

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - February 25, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia  will be made to implement the protocols set by the national government to address the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

DILG Undersecretary for operations Epimaco Densing III said Garcia and other local chief executives should follow the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF.

“Cebu (officials) will have to align themselves with the decision of the IATF. We will force them to align,” Densing told “The Chiefs” on Cignal TV’s OneNews/ TV5 on Tuesday night.

He cited how Garcia opposed those who recommended a lockdown in the province after cases of a new COVID variant were detected.

Densing said the DILG would respect the decision of the provincial government unless the IATF decides otherwise.

He said the country remains in a state of national public health emergency that the programs of local government units (LGUs) should be aligned with national policies.

Densing also cited the contrary opinion of some LGU officials to remove swab testing for travelers.

“They still want a full call on whether to test or not,” he said, referring to a meeting with local officials on Tuesday.

The DILG official said swab tests should be limited to persons who have symptoms, exposed to infected individuals or those who contracted the virus.

On the other hand, Densing said local chief executives agreed with the DILG proposal to remove travel authority and local health certificates as requirements when traveling in other parts of the country.

He said such documents are irrelevant and applicable only to locally stranded individuals.

Requirements stay

Meanwhile, the requirements imposed by the Cebu city government for inbound passengers stay unless Mayor Edgardo Labella issues a new EO, city Emergency Operations Center and Councilor Joel Garganera said.

Garganera said this means a letter of acceptance, which can be accessed through the LGU’s portal www.mics.cebucity.gov.ph/inboundapplication, and a negative swab test result are still required from tourists.

He said transiting visitors should present tickets for their intended destination while returning overseas Filipinos and workers should coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and their respective barangays.

In line with this, Garganera said, Labella asked him to set up a new helpdesk at the port area to assist travelers. —  Caecent No-ot Magsumbol/The Freeman

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