THREE local government units (LGUs) formally requested the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to recognize and permit the swab-upon-arrival policy in Cebu Province.

The municipalities of Samboan, Dumanjug, and Ginatilan passed separate resolutions that support the province’s relaxed quarantine regulations on arriving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs).

OFWs and ROFs returning to Cebu Province are given a protracted quarantine of two or three days, depending on the release of their Covid-19 test done upon arrival. They will then be allowed to continue their quarantine at home. The LGU will carry out a second swab on the seventh day.

The Department of Health and the IATF-MEID are still mandating a 10-day quarantine.

The Municipality of Ginalitan said it has a “considerable number of OFWs and ROFs who have been affected by the insistence of the IATF-MEID in implementing Resolution 114 as amended, whose unsound and impractical policy contradicts Executive Order No. 17, and Cebu Provincial Ordinance No. 2021-04.”

Its resolution states that the Cebu Provincial Government “should be given the sole prerogative to manage the Covid-19 situation in Cebu and matters pertaining to the arrival of OFWs and ROFs free from any intrusion of the IATF-MEID.”

The Municipality of Dumanjug requested the IATF-MEID “to recognize the swab-upon-arrival policy that is both sound and practical and permit its implementation within the Province of Cebu.”

Samboan said it is in “full support” of the swab-upon-arrival policy “for being a sound, practical, and responsive measure to the plight of returning OFWs and ROFs that is consistent with the Philippine Constitution, the Local Government Code, and existing regulations.

Samboan states that copies of its resolution will be forwarded to the Office of the President and the IATF-MEID. (NRC)