NEGROS Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson is firm on his stand that travelers bound for Bacolod City are still required of the Safe, Swift and Smart Passage (S-Pass) when traveling via the Bacolod-Silay Airport in Silay City.

The governor said that after receiving information that a city councilor is again accepting S-Pass registration, he will put the issue to rest.

Confusions earlier rose as the Provincial and City Governments could not agree on whether to require or not S-Pass among travelers bound for Bacolod City.

Lacson, for his part, pointed out even the airline companies appreciate the use of the S-Pass as they would no longer validate or authenticate the vaccine card and certificates, or even the travelers’ reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

"It is easier for them (airline companies)," Lacson said, adding that “what is important is that the provincial government recognizes that our status, both the city and province, has gone down to Alert Level 2.”

“Because of that, the provincial government has allowed an increase in flights from the previous six flights a week to 21 flights a week," the governor said.

He added the province is very much willing to take responsibility for approving the S-Pass registration for Bacolod City-bound passengers.

The Provincial Government, he said, will only remove the S-Pass requirement once the World Health Organization will make the declaration that the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

Earlier on Monday, November 22, provincial and city officials engaged in verbal spat after Bacolod City lifted the S-Pass requirement for city-bound passengers at the Bacolod-Silay Airport.

The Capitol immediately questioned the legality of the Executive Order (EO) issued by Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

Under the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) resolution, if travelers are expected to commute among the local government units (LGUs), they cannot disregard the protocols of such LGUs they are passing through, the provincial government pointed out.

This means that even if a traveler is bound for Bacolod, those arriving via the Bacolod-Silay Airport are still required to submit their documents via the S-Pass system, as the airport is situated in Silay City and is therefore under the jurisdiction of the provincial government, it added.