Cebu mayors adopt common guidelines for returning residents and OFWs

File photo.

TO ENSURE the smooth homecoming of locally stranded individuals, returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and returning workers during the general community quarantine, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Cebu Chapter has passed Resolution No. 2020-06, adopting common guidelines governing the 44 municipalities of the Province of Cebu.

According to LMP President and Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco, “the mayors agreed to take a united stand so that the influx of returning residents, OFWs, and persons resuming work under GCQ may come home secure in the knowledge that they and their families are safe and healthy. Amidst the culture of caution that has swept across the towns and cities of the Province of Cebu which has kept us relatively safe from this pandemic, we need to make certain that our LGUs can strategically manage possible risk of infections, and maintain order and safety in our communities.”

The LMP Common Guidelines adopts the requirements in Executive Order Number 17, 17-B, and 17-C of Governor Gwen Garcia, as well as the minimum requirements set forth by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

In a meeting called by Governor Garcia on May 27, mayors had ventilated their concerns on a DILG Advisory indicating that the acceptance by the receiving local government unit (LGU) was not requirement prior to the return of locally stranded individuals, as well as recent directives of the DILG to require LGUs to pick up arriving OFWs without prior endorsement by the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

With mayors citing the chaos and disorder that might ensue with a sudden surge of arrivals at the borders without prior coordination and health protocols, which could inundate barangay and LGU quarantine facilities and frontliners, DILG Regional Director Leocadio Trovela and Provincial Director Jhoaden Lucero said that obtaining prior consent of the receiving LGU is a necessity.

It was agreed that LGU acceptance would be required prior to a travel authority being issued to a stranded individual by the JTV CV Shield Task Force.

Other requirements include negative Covid-19 test or health screening by municipal health officer in the absence of a test, certification from barangay of origin indicating consent to leave, certification from barangay of destination indicating consent to accept, certification from the Municipal Health Office (MHO) that home of returning individual is fit for home quarantine, signing of health declaration form agreeing to mandatory 14-day quarantine.

For OFWs, coordination between the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the PHO would be necessary prior to endorsement of an OFW to a receiving LGU by the PHO who shall duly certify that said OFW has undergone the mandatory five-day quarantine after arrival in Cebu and has tested negative for the Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction Test.

Other requirements include LGU-written acceptance and certification from MHO that the home of the OFW is fit for home quarantine. (PR)


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