THE Bacolod City Emergency Operations Center Task Force (EOC-TF) has asked Mayor Evelio Leonardia to request the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) to also require government authorized persons outside of residence (Apors) bound for the city to present negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result regardless of their vaccination status.

Councilor Renecito Novero, chairman of the city’s quarantine center action team, said Monday, January 10, that government Apors should also present negative RT-PCR test results amid the surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases.

Due to the continued spread of the Omicron variant of Sars-Cov-2, which causes Covid-19, the City Government earlier required all travelers bound for Bacolod City to present a negative RT-PCR test result effective January 9, 2022.

In an executive order (EO) issued by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, such a requirement covers travelers coming from areas classified under Alert Level 3 in terms of Covid-19 transmission whether they are vaccinated or not.

The RT-PCR test should be taken within 72 hours prior to and upon arrival in Bacolod City.

Aside from the negative RT-PCR test, travelers are still required to present BaCTrac registration, Safe, Swift and Smart Passage (S-Pass), vaccination card and identification cards.

The EO stated that all government officials or public sector personnel on official business shall be allowed unimpeded travel into Bacolod City from any area regardless of the alert level status, provided that they comply with the vaccination mandate under NIATF Resolution No. 148-B, Series of 2021, dated November 11, 2021.

They must also present a valid ID issued by their respective government agencies; vaccination card/ID showing when they were fully vaccinated and/or have undergone a booster dose.

“Those who are only partially vaccinated or are still unvaccinated shall present their negative RT-PCR test result,” it added.

Among other requirements for government officials and workers included presentation of an original/certified true copy of their travel order/authority issued by the head of their agency or by his/her authorized superior; symptom screening at the airport or seaport upon arrival; and strict compliance with existing minimum public health standards.

Novero, however, said government Apors should also be included because they might also be carriers of the virus.

“We recorded a double-digit of Covid-19 cases, so it’s better to prevent than cure,” he said.

The official said he is planning to pass a resolution on Wednesday’s regular session to implement this measure.

Novero noted that this plan was discussed during their huddle meeting on Sunday, January 9, along with the members of the EOC-TF.

Meanwhile, Novero said he will also ask Leonardia to renew the contract of services of the healthcare workers including the doctors, nurses and contact tracers who were earlier hired by the city.

He said their contract of services expired on December 31, 2021.

“We need to renew their contract of services because we have a surge of Covid-19 cases. We should be ready for any eventuality,” he added.