Only court can stop Cebu’s health protocol, says exec
CEBU CITY — The government task force overseeing the pandemic response must sue the Cebu provincial government if it wants to stop the testing and quarantine policy for overseas travelers arriving in the province through Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), an official said.
According to Board Member John Ismael Borgonia, the provincial government will continue with its “testing upon arrival” policy when international flights resume at MCIA in Lapu-Lapu City on June 13, unless the court declares the ordinance as unlawful.
“If the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) insists and [its members] think we violated their policy, then they should file a case to declare our ordinance ultra vires (beyond one’s legal power or authority),” said Borgonia, author of Provincial Ordinance No. 2021-04, the local law behind Cebu’s arrival protocol.
“They should have done that (filing of case) instead of making it hard for our Cebuano OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) by diverting flights to Manila. They (IATF) should go after us and not the OFWs,” he added.
Malacañang has extended the diversion of international flights bound for MCIA to Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila until June 12, instead of its earlier order of eight days, from May 29 to June 5.
The order was issued after Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia mandated that all arriving Filipinos from abroad must be tested immediately. While waiting for the results, returning Filipinos need to go on hotel quarantine for only two to three days.
Garcia’s policy, which was later adopted into an ordinance, defies IATF rules, which mandate swabbing on the seventh day from arrival and a 10-day quarantine.
Earlier, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Cebu was expected to follow IATF policy once international flights resumed at MCIA. INQ
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