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Cebu ordered to follow IATF protocols for ROFs

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte yesterday ordered the provincial government of Cebu to follow the protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for returning overseas Filipinos or ROFs.

The IATF requires returning Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to undergo quarantine for at least 10 days and swab test on the seventh day from the date of their arrival.

Earlier, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued an executive order requiring Filipinos arriving at the Mactan Cebu International Airport to undergo swab tests upon arrival.

After undergoing swab tests, these Filipinos will be taken to a hotel where they will stay for three days to wait for the results of their tests.

The provincial government amended its protocol and included another swab test on the seventh day from the date of the arrival.

“This news just came in from the Office of the Executive Secretary. The President has decided that the IATF protocols must be implemented by the Cebu province,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said during a press briefing yesterday.

Roque said the last extension on the diversion of international flights bound for Cebu to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport was part of the preparations for the full implementation of the IATF protocols in the province.

The flight diversion, which was extended until last Saturday upon the recommendation of the IATF, was initially imposed from May 29 to June 5 as a precautionary measure against the further spread of COVID.

“The President considered the DOH’s critique in deciding to implement the IATF arrival protocols in Cebu,” Roque said, referring to the Department of Health.

Asked what the government would do should Cebu insist on implementing its own protocol, Roque replied: “Perhaps that is a question better asked to the Department of the Interior and Local Government.”

Garcia has yet to comment on the order of the President.

Last month, Duterte met with Garcia to discuss the protocols for returning Filipinos.

Duterte instructed the DOH to assess the measures implemented by the province.

Roque said he did not sense any outrage from the President during his meeting with Garcia. – The Freeman

IATF PRESIDENT DUTERTE
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