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Cebu awaits DOH word on airport testing

/ 05:00 AM June 03, 2021

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has given Health Secretary Francisco Duque III until Thursday to study if the Cebu provincial government’s COVID-19 testing policy on arriving residents and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) should be replicated in other parts of the country.

“I heard the President told him (Duque) twice [to study the procedures we’re using in Cebu],” said Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia in a news conference on Tuesday.

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Garcia’s executive order (EO) mandates that all OFWs and residents returning to Cebu will be tested upon arrival at the airport, contrary to the protocol set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) that required testing seven days after their return and a 14-day quarantine.

During Monday’s meeting, the President reportedly told Garcia that Cebu seemed to be disobeying the IATF guidelines.

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But Garcia said she defended her EO and cited the humanitarian aspect of her policy.

“These OFWs, they do not come home to have a good time. They don’t have enough cash to pay for their tickets. They come home because there is a reason. It’s either there is a family member who is sick or someone has died,” she said. —DALE G. ISRAEL

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TAGS: Cebu airport COVID-19 testing, Cebu COVID-19 testing, Gwendolyn Garcia
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