Negros Occidental pushes for uniform protocols with Bacolod

THE provincial government of Negros Occidental has appealed to the Bacolod City government to adopt common protocols for returning residents.

Lawyer Rayfrando Diaz, provincial administrator, said Bacolod City, the province's capital, has a different protocol.

"While they are swabbed before departure from Manila, when they arrive at the Bacolod-Silay Airport no control measures, [and] no protocol are observed anymore," Diaz said.

He said such is a cause for concern for the provincial government.

"We have been calling out that our protocols should be uniform. We want to create a Negros Occidental bubble. How can we do that if one local government unit does not follow the same protocol?" Diaz said.

He added that if that is the case in Bacolod City, "we will have a gaping hole in the middle of Negros."

Bacolod City is a highly urbanized city that is not under the jurisdiction of the provincial government.

Meanwhile, the provincial government will continue testing all passengers for the coronavirus that are entering Negros Occidental by air and sea.

Diaz said airline companies have asked to operate daily flights into the province instead of their current twice a week schedule.

"If they can prove that their screening procedure in Manila is effective and no incoming passengers test positive upon arrival in the next weeks, we will recommend the removal of the swab booths at the air and seaports," Diaz said.

Diaz said there were still passengers coming into Negros who tested negative for the coronavirus in Manila, but upon arrival, tested positive.

He said the province cannot let its guards down.

"We owe it to the Negrenses to keep them safe," Diaz said.


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