IATF lifts travel ban on LSIs bound for parts of Western Visayas

GOING HOME. In this August 2, 2020 file photo, locally stranded individuals who arrived in Cebu wait for their ride home at the Aduana port behind the Malacañang sa Sugbo. (Amper Campaña)

RESIDENTS of the provinces of Antique, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental, and City of Iloilo in Western Visayas who are stranded in Cebu can now travel back to their hometowns.

This, after the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, Resolution No. 71 lifting the temporary suspension of inbound travel of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) to these areas.

To recall, the IATF issued Resolution No. 69 last Sept. 7. One of the policies it implemented as part of the National Government’s response to the public health emergency caused by Covid-19 was the moratorium on the inbound travel of residents of Antique, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental in Western Visayas, and Iligan and Lanao del Sur in Mindanao back to their home provinces.

The coronavirus disease 2019 infections have been increasing in these areas.

Inbound travel to Iligan and Lanao del Sur is still on pause.

Resolution No. 71 also authorizes the Regional IATF to decide on local government units’ requests for imposition, extension and lifting of travel moratorium. The National Task Force for Covid-19 enforces the Regional IATF’s decision.

Garganera’s support

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), supported the new IATF resolution, saying it is about time for other LSIs to go home after six months of being stranded in the city.

Since Aug. 2, 2020, Garganera said 25,410 LSIs have left the Cebu City ports.

The Cebu City Police Office has already issued 43,470 travel permits to LSIs since August.

CPA’s numbers

Cebu Port Authority (CPA) General Manager Leonilo Miole said, from Aug. 1 to Sept. 12, a total of 20,422 outbound passengers passed through Cebu ports.

In the same period, the CPA recorded a total of 11,560 passenger arrivals in Cebu.

Miole said suspensions on acceptance of LSIs are still in effect in Bacolod City, Iligan City and Lanao del Sur until Sept. 30, and in Roxas City and Capiz City until Sept. 22.

Michael Braga, Department of the Interior and Local Government 7 information officer, said should outbound travelers have concerns or queries about their travel documents, they may approach the Regional Task Force 7’s one-stop-shop personnel at Pier 1 of Cebu City Port. (WBS & JJL)


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