Negros Occidental governor asks NTF to let him enforce travel restrictions
BACOLOD CITY—Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson appealed to the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 to let him enforce an order requiring tests and quarantine for entry into the province, which the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) had opposed.
“I believe this is imperative in order to protect our constituents, our local economy and our future as a province,” he said.
Lacson made the appeal on Thursday (April 1) to Carlito Galvez Jr., NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar and Vince Dizon, NTF deputy chief implementer.
The governor said it was clear that individuals, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), returning to the province were clearly the carriers of SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, in Negros Occidental and requiring tests and quarantine for entry would control the spread of the virus.
“If I stand by idly, I fear that the gains in the past year will be put to waste, to the detriment of our people,” Lacson said.
Lacson said he earlier issued Executive Order No. 21-18-A Series of 2021 implementing the Inter Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF) Resolution 101 with revisions.
On Wednesday, the governor received a letter from regional DILG director Juan Jovian Ingeniero disallowing the mandatory testing and quarantine of travellers upon entry into Negros Occidental and keeping them isolated until they showed negative test results.
The IATF’s Resolution 101 allows tests on passengers only prior to departure but disallows testing and quarantine on arrival in their destinations.
Lacson said while he intended to implement a uniform travel protocol listed by the IATF resolution, the increase in positivity rate and a surge in COVID-19 cases render the province defenseless against the spread of the virus from other places.
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