DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio told neighboring provinces in Davao Region to prepare their borders for the resumption of inter-provincial travels.
Duterte-Carpio, who is the Covid-19 Regional Task Force chairperson, said in a radio interview on Friday, May 22, that different local chief executives in the region discussed in a meeting the measures needed to be prepared in allowing the entry and exit of people within their respective territories.
Among the preparations they must include are the health screening and entry point measures and guidelines.
"Nasabutan namo nga kinahanglan nila pangandaman ilang health screening, kung unsaon nila makit-an ang mga tao nga pwede nila i-refer as suspected to be, or possible carrier sa Covid-19 (We discussed that there is a need to prepare their health screening, and how they would be able to detect and refer individuals who are suspected or possible carrier of Covid-19)," Duterte-Carpio said, emphasizing this is part of the measures to take under the general community quarantine (GCQ).
The mayor said there is a need for the city to open its borders for the resumption of mass transportation travel within the region, as stated under the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Omnibus Guidelines dated May 15, 2020, Sec 7 (6): “The movement of persons across areas placed under GCQ and modified GCQ for any purpose other than leisure shall be permitted.”
She personally raised the concern to some local government units (LGUs) closing their borders for vehicles coming from Davao City, which is considered a hotspot of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the region.
She added that mass transportation within the region must resume since more establishments are now allowed to operate under GCQ.
However, the mayor said some LGUs admitted their health screening measures and facilities are still not ready for the resumption of incoming and outgoing travels within their areas.
"Niingon sila nga kinahanglan pa nila pangandaman ilang health screening, entry points, since each LGU dunay ipahigayon nga health screening sa ilang entry point (They told us that they needed more time to prepare in their health screening and entry points since each LGUs will conduct strict health screening in their entry points)," Duterte-Carpio said.
This is also the reason why the resumption of provincial bus travel within the region is still not possible on Monday, May 25, according to Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board - Davao Region (LTFRB-Davao) Director Armand Dioso on Saturday, May 23.
Dioso said in a phone interview that some LGUs are not yet ready to accept passengers coming from Davao City.
He added LGUs are still mounting their health screening guidelines and resources in preparation for the resumption of the inter-provincial bus trips.
However, Duterte-Carpio said the city has long been prepared in the resumption of bus trips, but on a limited capacity prior to the GCQ.
The mayor said incoming individuals to Davao City shall be subjected to a health screening upon arrival at the land, seaport, and airport checkpoints.
The health screening conducted will determine whether a person shall go directly to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) for RT-PCR testing and quarantine or proceed to a 14-day mandatory home quarantine.
She said under the city government’s guidelines individuals and workers coming in and out of the city every day shall still be subjected to the same health screening procedure but they will not be mandated to be quarantined.
Meanwhile, the mayor said that Covid-19 cases in the city are expected to rise following the resumption of mass transportation and travel within the region.