Province shuts borders on Cebu City anew

Lorraine L. Ecarma (The Freeman) - June 25, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Except for identified essential workers, Cebu Province is shutting its borders anew to Cebu City beginning Friday, June 26.

The province is under general community quarantine while Cebu City has reverted to enhanced community quarantine.

"No person shall be allowed entry into the territorial jurisdiction of the Province of Cebu as defined by the borders of Mandaue City in the North, Talisay City in the South, the Municipality of Balamban in the West, and to include the Municipality of Cordova in the Island of Mactan,” reads the executive order issued by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia yesterday.

Garcia announced her decision in advance during her daily online presser on Tuesday.

"This is serving notice to all our mayors of the 44 municipalities and six component cities: We will go back to the restrictions on the entry of people coming from Cebu City to the province. We will go back to Executive Order No. 17 Section 8," Garcia said.

Yesterday, Garcia signed EO No. 17-H, which brings back the effectiveness of Section 8 of EO 17.

The last time the province closed its borders off was when the whole Cebu Island was placed under ECQ in April.

Garcia said non-essential workers who are residents of the province but work in Cebu City can choose to remain in the city or return to the province.

"You will either have to choose, ari ra mo sa Cebu City or you will have to go back to their LGUs," she said.

EO 17-H also revoked EO 17-D or the easing up of the province’s borders on Cebu City, which took effect last June 3. Under 17-D, workers from the province were allowed to cross the borders to Cebu City so long as they present their company IDs and certificate of employment from their respective firms at checkpoints.

Garcia said there has been an observable rise in COVID-19 cases in the province after it opened up its borders to Cebu City at the start of June when both the province and the city were under GCQ.

"Like it or not, dinha gyud sa pagsugod nato pag-ease up nato sa restrictions nato, between Cebu City and the province nga nag-increase pud ang number of cases. It is not alarming but we have to admit nga nag-increase,” she said.

(Like it or not, it was when we eased-up restrictions between Cebu City and the province that our number of cases increased. It is not alarming but we have to admit that there was an increase.)

She pointed out that the local government units in the province that have tallied the most number of COVID-19 cases are those closest to Cebu City such as Mandaue City, Consolacion, Minglanilla, and Talisay City.

Garcia, in a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in Cebu City on June 23 reiterated the province’s appeal to transition to modified GCQ or at least for its cities and municipalities that reported minimal to no COVID-19 cases.  JMO  (FREEMAN)

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