CEBU

DILG: No swabbing of tourists in Cebu not a violation

(SunStar Bacolod file photo)

DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, said the executive order issued by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia dropping the mandatory swab testing as one of the requirements for travelers in Cebu, does not violate protocols amid community quarantines.

"There is no violation or misalignment of that executive order. Clearly, in the Omnibus guidelines in the implementation of community quarantine in the Philippines as signed by the President, it is clear there that protocols for non-APORs (non-Authorized Persons Outside of Residence) whether intra-travel or interzonal travel will be subjected to reasonable regulations of the local government," he said.

"So, in other words, some local governments may require testing, some may not, but these are in alignment or in accordance with the Omnibus Guidelines," he added, referring to the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of the Community Quarantine in the Philippines published by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

On Feb. 22, 2021, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia signed Executive Order 12 that sets easier rules for travel to Cebu Province’s 44 towns and six component cities.

Under EO 12, a real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test is no longer required to visit tourist destinations in Cebu Province.



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Densing said the members of the IATF-MEID are set to meet on Friday, Feb. 26, and he is hoping that they can have "common" or uniformed guidelines and protocols for land, air, and sea travel for local governments.

He said the DILG will propose to waive the "irrelevant" documentary requirements, such as medical certificate (issued days before travel) and have it replaced with more stringent assessments for travelers from the port of origin and arrival. (WBS)


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