Briones: Exemptions

On the go

WHILE Cebu Province is in a state of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), an outsider who enters a town or a city will have to automatically undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

It doesn’t matter whether that outsider is from Cebu City or from an adjacent local government unit (LGU).

The point is, the outsider is not from that community and may end up introducing a foreign pathogen like the highly infectious Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), to the local population if he or she is not isolated.

Of course, there are exceptions.

But even then, people who want to venture into the province, say from Cebu City, will have to secure a travel pass from the Provincial Government at the Capitol.

They will have to write a letter to the governor stating the purpose of their visit. And it better be important, otherwise their request will be turned down.

Visiting relatives to see how they’re coping with the current health crisis is not one of them. So is going to the beach with a foreign partner and having a drink by the seashore. Which, by the way, happened last week.

So it’s safe to safe that the perpetrators did not have a travel pass from the Capitol. Yet, they managed to get to a southwestern town without getting stopped at the border checkpoints because they posted a seal of the House of Representatives at the back of their vehicle.

They claimed they were distributing relief goods for one party-list group or something like that, which turned out to be a lie.

They would have gotten away with their illegal escapade if they hadn’t got caught on the beach. But they were arrested and charged.

You’d think that would be the end of that but the two posted bail and were released.

Since the province is still in ECQ, they were automatically required to undergo a 14-day quarantine in a town on the other side of Cebu Island.

I see you’re scratching your head. You’re confused. So was I when I read the news. But that’s what happened.

The couple were transported to another LGU whose mayor is related to one of the perpetrators because he requested their transfer. They would finish their quarantine in his town, the mayor promised.

So you have two people who lied, who defied quarantine protocol for a frolic on the beach and they basically get away with it because one of them is related to a politician.

Never mind, if they risked the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people in two towns in doing so.


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