The city government here has permitted the entry of passengers through its seaports and airport while the locality is still under the general community quarantine (GCQ) until Oct. 31 amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
In Executive Order (EO) 66 released on Friday, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the move is the result of the city’s downgraded community quarantine pursuant to the pronouncement of the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
He also cited an advisory of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) dated October 8 on the lifting of the suspension of arrival of locally stranded individuals to Negros Occidental and Iloilo City as well as the EO 163 issued by Mayor Jerry Treñas on October 13 declaring the resumption of travel from Iloilo City to Bacolod City and vice versa effective October 14.
“The city government, in all its issuances of EOs, at all times recognizes the general supervision of the national government/National IATF over the local government units (LGUs) to manage and control the present Covid-19 pandemic while the present emergency situation demands that it take continuing measures against the pandemic in its locality,” Leonardia said.
As travel and entry through seaports in the city resume, Section 4 (2) of the Omnibus Guidelines of the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines with amendments as of October 8 should be strictly followed, EO 66 stated.
This means that travel shall be limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in the offices or industries permitted to operate. Travel for leisure purposes shall not be allowed.
EO 66 added that when entering through the Bacolod-Silay Airport located in Silay City, any traveler or commuter must comply with the health protocols of the Province of Negros Occidental upon arrival and before proceeding to Bacolod.
“It has always been the position of our city that inter-connection between our ports is an economic stimulus, subject only to how we scientifically and wisely balance it with our health priorities,” Leonardia said in an earlier statement.
As of Thursday night, Bacolod has 4,491 Covid-19 cases, of which 3,854 or 85.82 percent have recovered. There are still 521 active cases, and 116 deaths.
(Nanette Guadalquiver via Negros Daily Bulletin, photo by Philippine News Agency)