CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has “set aside” on Tuesday, June 21, 2021 the Executive Order 23 she had issued a day earlier to remind government agencies that they may face complaints if they disobey the provincial ordinance on the testing and quarantine policy for returning Filipinos arriving at the Cebu airport.
This came after announcements made separately earlier in the day by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) in Central Visayas and other parties involved that they would now be following the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ arrival policy for returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Garcia said the swabbing of ROFs and OFWs on arrival at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) still continues.
BOQ 7 chief Dr. Terence Anthony Bermejo said ROFs and OFWs who test negative during the swab on arrival will now continue with their quarantine at their designated hotel while waiting for another swab test on the seventh day.
If they test negative on the Day 7 test, they will then continue with their quarantine in the hotel until they finish the 10 days required facility-based quarantine period of the IATF, after which they will spend the succeeding four days of quarantine in their local government units (LGUs).
The governor’s decision to set aside Executive Order (EO) 23 came after President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements on Monday night.
The President warned the judiciary that he will not obey any order to stop the implementation of IATF arrival protocols in Cebu, and he will leave the fate of the governor— who had insisted on enforcing a provincial ordinance on Cebu’s testing and quarantine policy for OFWs and ROFs—to the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Garcia announced her decision on Facebook Live on the page of the Capitol-run Sugbo News while she was in Bantayan Island, spearheading an outreach activity.
In so doing, even as I set aside EO No. 23, we shall continue with the swab-upon-arrival policy. We have found that doing this gives us better control at those that arrive and already testing positive. This shall continue at no cost to the arriving OFWs and ROFs.
An ordinance of a local government unit cannot be more...cannot be higher than a national policy. The policies that we are dishing out are guided by the proclamation and they are the laws (of the land). Because of the emergency, this is how we do it.