Some Eastern Visayas mayors want their towns to remain under ECQ
TACLOBAN CITY –– Several mayors in Eastern Visayas are not willing to lift their border restrictions after Malacañang declared that Region 8 would no longer be under any quarantine.
The mayors appealed to the national government to put their localities under general community quarantine (GCQ) until the end of May.
Mayor Arnel Tan of Tarangan town in Samar said reopening his town to people and businesses could result in the further spread of the virus in the municipality.
“Premises considered, we are respectively requesting for the grant of extension of enhanced community quarantine up to May 18 and be placed under general community quarantine from May 19 to 31 to ensure the conclusion of mass testing to isolate patients who could be COVID-19-positive,” said Tan in his May 12 letter to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19.
Tarangan is considered the epicenter of COVID-19 cases in Eastern Visayas.
Of the region’s 20 COVID-19 cases, 15 were from the municipality.
Mayors Ferdinand Avila of San Isidro town in Northern Samar province and Jose Ivan Dayan Agda of Borongan City in Eastern Samar shared Tan’s sentiment.
“We remain COVID-19 free and if we will not continue our border checkpoints, there is a danger that the virus could enter our town considering that we are an entry point to Luzon. That is why we want to remain under GCQ until May 31,” said Avila.
Agda also communicated with both the provincial and regional task forces seeking that his city be placed either under enhanced community quarantine or GCQ until the end of the month.
With the expected influx of people from Luzon returning to the city and the rest of Eastern Samar following the lifting of the lockdown in Luzon on May 15, he said the virus may enter Borongan.
“The lifting of our community quarantine and similarly that of other local government units in the region could result to chaos, disorder, or civil unrest as people shall no longer have adequate security and support against COVID-19,” Agda said in his May 12 letter to both the Provincial and Regional Inter-Agency Task Forces on COVID-19.
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