GOVERNOR Arthur Defensor Jr. placed the entire Province of Iloilo under community quarantine until April 14.

Defensor, in his Executive Order (EO) 28-C, said considering the seriousness of the developing Covid-19 public health event, there is a need to raise the level of quarantine procedures and disease prevention and control measures against the spread of the new virus that has so far infected 140 people in the Philippines.

The governor also imposed travel restriction on the entire province effective immediately until April 14.

However these travel restrictions are exempted to the following:

1. Government officials and employees traveling in the performance and pursuit of their functions;

2. Medical personnel and health workers who shall be performing functions in relation to Covid-19 in the Province of Iloilo;

3. Residents of Iloilo traveling from and into the province;

4. Returning residents of the Province and Iloilo City.

Returning residents of the province and Iloilo City only have until March 17 to enter the province.

Defensor also urged the public transport sector, particularly those at seaports and airports, to refuse issuance of tickets and boarding of passengers.

He added that the movement of the people in the province shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work.

The governor also encouraged private sectors to rationalized flexible work arrangements provided that the same shall not affect the levels of products, work and service output.

Classes in all levels in the province is also suspended until April 14.

Defensor said the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (Ched) and Technical Education Skills Development Authority (Tesda) shall ensure that State Universities and Colleges, private schools and other educational or training institutions provide adequate arrangements to allow the students to continue fulfilling their requirements during the period of the community quarantine in the province.

Defensor also added that all government units, with the assistance of the DILG shall be responsible for the implementing measures to ensure that students observe "social distancing" measures during class suspension.

"What the EO needs is a calm and responsible interpretation of the EO. All we need is understanding and sacrifices to avoid the further spread of the virus." Defensor said.