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48 HOUR-WINDOW TO GO HOME TO TOWNS
By: Mylen Manto, Vanessa Almeda | Published Wednesday, June 24, 2020
To arresst the rising number of Covid-19 positive cases, Gov. Gwen Garcia orders to reinstate strict border controls between Cebu City and Province, giving workers 48 hours to go home to their towns. (FILE PHOTO)

Stricter border controls and entry restrictions between Cebu Province and Cebu City will be implemented again starting Friday, June 26.

A 48-hour notice is given to all residents of the Province who are currently in Cebu City, except locally stranded individuals (LSI), to go back to their respective hometowns.

“This is serving notice to all mayors that we will go back to the restrictions on the entry of people coming in from Cebu City to the Province. We will go back to EO (Executive Order) 17 Section 8 which requires additional restrictions to our borders,” the governor announced on Tuesday, June 23.

Under EO 17, Sec. 8, stricter border controls will be implemented in the four borders of the Province located in Talisay City in the south, Mandaue City and Consolacion in the north, Balamban town in the west, and Cordova town in Mactan Island.

“We will give you the next 48 hours, after that you have to choose, ari raka Cebu City or you have to go back to your LGUs. Di na pwede COE (Certificate of Employment) or ID (identification card),” she added.

The re-implementation of stricter border controls, the governor said, is only meant to protect the Province. 

“Like it or not, pagsugod nato pag-ease up, nag-increase pud ang cases. It is not alarming but we have to admit na nag-increase,” Garcia said.

The areas, admittedly, are those which are contiguous to Cebu City like Talisay City and Minglanilla in the south which have recorded rising Covid-19 positive patients. 

Garcia said she offered to reinstitute her EO during the meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management on the Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) officials and other Cebu local officials earlier.

“Pagsugod gyud they (IATF) were admiring nga strikto mi so ibalik ni nato. So effective Friday, we will have to revert to strict border controls,” Garcia said. 

While in the past, she would call on all mayors for a meeting to discuss on her plans, the governor said she has to decide on it now.

“Wa nako magpatawag. It's too big a task. I am deciding it now. We have to do this to curb the increase of cases eversince gi loosen nato ang mga restrictions,” she said.

Garcia explained that if the areas are classified on the same quarantine status, those who are allowed to travel can still cross the borders but will have to secure again the Provincial Pass from the Capitol. 

For example, a worker who is in Mandaue City can go home to Santander because these areas are both on General Community Quarantine zones. 

Meanwhile, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año instructed that the movement of LSI coming from or going to Cebu City which is under Enhanced Community Quarantine, will not be allowed temporarily. 

DILG 7 Director Leocadio Trovela signed the advisory on June 19, 2020.

“Ganina dinhi ang lima ka Cabinet secretaries gi-appoint si (DENR Secretary Roy) Cimatu to oversee the Covid-19 efforts sa Cebu. Sa among meeting akong gi point out nga in fact ang sitwasyon sa province lahi sa Cebu City kay kung positive cases atong istoryahan compared to the total population mubo gyud kaayo ang sa Province,” Garcia said.

Those in attendance during the meeting were IATF-EID Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu, Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Año, regional directors of government line agencies and the Philippine National Police. (Mylen Manto, Vanessa Almeda)