Cebu awaits DOH word on airport testing
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.
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.
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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