Motorists from Cebu City and those coming from the southern towns of Cebu Province going to the city will have to brace themselves for traffic as the Bulacao-Talisay City border will be closed on Friday, June 26 at 12:01 a.m.
The Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR) in Talisay City will be the single access going in and out of Cebu City, said Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Roderick Mariano.
Meanwhile, all barangays in the Province may place their barangay control points back as part of the security measures the Province will implement anew.
"We're also asking help from our barangays to disseminate na yun lang authorized ang pwede lumabas," Mariano said after his meeting with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on Wednesday, June 24, together with Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony "Samsam" Gullas, Minglanilla Mayor Elanito Peña and Consolacion Mayor Joannes Alegado's representative.
The Province will be reinstituting its strict border controls as part of the steps to curb the number of Covid-19 patients in the Province.
On Friday, Garcia will conduct an inspection on all borders together with Mariano and other police personnel.
Border controls with 24/7 checkpoints will also be set up on the access road going to Compostela from Cebu City while checkpoints in the borders of Mandaue City in the north, Balamban in the west, and Cordova town in Mactan Island will be reactivated.
Mariano said a total of 1,657 men in uniform from the CPPO, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other force multipliers will be deployed in the entire province.
Meanwhile, the Cebu Provincial Government is willing to extend help to the Cebu City Government, once needed, to address the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“And with our very good mayor, our city health officer and all that are working double time, I am really, sincerely offering our support in any way that we can in so far as the Province of Cebu is concerned,” Garcia said during a press conference on Wednesday, June 24.
“(Cebu City) Mayor (Edgardo) Labella, you can count on us. Just call out, holler and we will come running. But in the meantime we will need to close our borders,” she added.
Together with Garcia and Labella in the press conference were Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Secretary and recently appointed Cebu anti-Covid-19 response czar Roy Cimatu, Deputy Chief Implementer for Visayas retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano, and Cebu City Health Officer Dr. Daisy Villa.
Garcia thanked Cimatu and Feliciano for helping Cebu City solve the “problem that needs to be urgently addressed in the city.”
She also emphasized that the Capitol’s decision to re-implement the stricter border controls is meant to “contain the problem in Cebu City, not to make life harder.”
“Because if this spreads further throughout the entire province, then the problem will triple,” she cautioned the officials.
Cebu Province has a total population of 3.2 million. As of Wednesday, the Province logged a total of 749 cases of which 492 are considered active cases, 186 recoveries and 71 deaths.
Of the 492 active cases 121 are hospitalized while 135 symptomatic and 236 asymptomatic patients are in home isolation and quarantine facilities.
She noted that in the past 23 days that Cebu opened up its borders upon transitioning to the General Community Quarantine status last May 16, the number of cases have tripled.
“And so we need to stop this. And as we do this, with much confidence I know that the increase of cases in Cebu City will be arrested, (because) we have two very capable generals with us, helping us,” the governor added. (Mylen Manto, Vanessa L. Almeda)