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Gwen backs entry of vaccinated foreigners
Chan appealed to the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to allow foreigners to enter his city, provided that they can show proof of completed COVID-19 vaccine and negative result of RT-PCR test.

Gwen backs entry of vaccinated foreigners

Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) - May 5, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has expressed support to Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan’s call to allow entry of foreign tourists who have completed their vaccination against COVID-19.

Chan appealed to the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to allow foreigners to enter his city, provided that they can show proof of completed COVID-19 vaccine and negative result of RT-PCR test.

“I am one with Mayor Ahong Chan because his tourism sector is really severely affected,” Garcia said.

Garcia recalled that before the pandemic hit Cebu, tourists from Korea, China, and Japan were the province’s main visitors.

The governor said she is willing to sit with Chan to discuss the proposal further, as both officials are keen on reviving the ailing tourism and economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Kini man gud, and I am insisting on that Section 105 (of the Local Government Code). This now allows us to consider the possibility of accepting foreign tourists. Mo-establish ka og tourism bubble subject to certain protocols,” Garcia said.

Section 105 of the LGC reads: “In cases of epidemics, pestilence, and other widespread public health dangers, the Secretary of Health may, upon the direction of the President and in consultation with the local government unit concerned, temporarily assume direct supervision and control over health operations in any local government unit for the duration of the emergency, but in no case exceeding a cumulative period of six (6) months. With the concurrence of the government unit concerned, the period for such direct national control and supervision may be further extended.”

Furthermore, the governor said that under the existing protocol of the province for arriving Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs), they are required to undergo swab test upon arrival and have to wait as transients before allowed to go out.

“Why can't we do the same for other countries that have also been able to manage their COVID cases?” Garcia asked.

She also reiterated that all systems and protocols in managing COVID-19 cases in the province have already been set.

“We're ready. Contact tracing is in place. We have isolation facilities. We even have protocols for home quarantine,” Garcia said. — JMD (FREEMAN)

GWENDOLYN GARCIA
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