SECTIONS
Cebu
Friday, August 06, 2021
CEBU

IATF policy for inbound OFWs, ROFs ‘inapplicable’ in Cebu

IATF policy for inbound OFWs, ROFs ‘inapplicable’ in Cebu. (File photo)

CEBU-BASED lawyers are set to file a petition on Monday, June 21, 2021, asking the court to declare Resolution 114 of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases as “inapplicable” and “ineffective” in Cebu Province’s jurisdiction.

This is because of the subsistence of Provincial Ordinance 2021-04 (as amended) and Executive Order 17, which was enacted pursuant to Sections 105 and 16 of Republic Act 7160, or The Local Government Code.

The petitioners, Clarence Paul Oaminal and Valentino Bacalso Jr., will seek the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the IATF from implementing Resolution 114 in Cebu.

Oaminal and Bacalso will also ask the court to issue a temporary restraining order while it resolves their petition.

IATF Resolution 114, issued on May 6, 2021, sets the testing and quarantine protocols for inbound overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and returning overseas Filipino (ROFs).

Under the resolution, all arriving international travelers, whether vaccinated or not, have to undergo 14 days of quarantine and undergo a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for Sars-CoV-2 (the virus causing Covid-19) on the seventh day of their quarantine.

The traveler, regardless of the test result, must stay in a quarantine facility for 10 days and spend the remaining four days under home quarantine.

Cebu Province, however, requires OFWs and ROFs to be swabbed upon arrival.

Due to these differing protocols, the Malacañang, last month, ordered all international flights bound for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to be diverted to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for eight days starting May 29.

The diversion was extended until June 12, with the MCIA resuming servicing inbound international flights on June 13.

The Provincial Board then amended Ordinance 2021-04 on June 12.

However, the amended ordinance still reflects the requirements stated in the memorandum that Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued on May 20 and released on June 5.

The amendments still differ from that of IATF’s arrival protocol except that the Province now requires a second swab test on the seventh day of the quarantine period.

The amended ordinance still requires arriving OFWs and ROFs to undergo a swab test upon arrival at the MCIA. The the test is free and will be conducted by the DOH 7.

The Province’s swabbing and quarantine protocol gained support from various national lawmakers, including Senators Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Francis Tolentino, among others.

In Cebu, a group of doctors who call themselves “Concerned Doctors of Cebu,” in a statement, said they are in solidarity with the IATF’s medical experts, especially its technical working group. (WBS)


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