Starting Monday, August 10, all workers residing in the 44 towns and six component cities of Cebu Province must present a work travel pass (WTP) before they can enter Cebu City and return home.
To get a WTP, workers will apply online through the WeTrace Platform via App which can be downloaded in any mobile device using the Android or IOS (Apple) operating system.
The home local government unit (LGU) will be provided with the WeTrace platform to be able to process the application online and issue the travel pass.
As a requirement, workers applying for WTP must first download the WeTrace app on their mobile phones to be able to acquire a QR code.
This move of the Cebu Provincial Government aims to further secure the Province from the spread of Covid-19 as Cebu City is placed under General Community Quarantine from August 1-15, 2020.
To recall, Covid-19 cases in the Province increased drastically when Cebu City and the Province's risk classification was downgraded to a similar status in June.
In a meeting on August 3, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas, Consolacion Mayor Joannes Alegado and Minglanilla Mayor Lani Peña shared similar observations that cases in these towns drastically went up because of the loosening of travel restrictions.
“It has been observed na kadto June nga nag-GCQ mao man to’y pag-ulbo sa kaso sugod sa Talisay, Minglanilla and Consolacion. Nahadlok si Gov nga inig-balik karon, which is happening na, mo-shoot up na pud og balik, supposedly kay ni-plateau na baya unta to. So karon ang pagpangandam unsaon ni namo ang mga trabahante. What can we do to the workers in Cebu City because we cannot close our borders,” Alegado said.
Learning from what happened in June, they all agreed that measures must be undertaken to avoid a repeat of the incident.
In an advisory issued on August 3, Garcia enjoined all the mayors under its jurisdiction to put in place the WTP which will be processed online to avoid people from gathering in public places like the city or town hall to get a travel pass.
“Naa naman ni. Ato ni gamiton kay mao naman ni ang mas efficient nga pamaagi sa pag-contact trace,” Garcia said, revisiting the WeTrace app, which was launched in April.
Alegado said the governor required the issuance of WTP to remind workers that since they have been given the chance to return to work, “kani pud nga chance mohatag pud nila og risgo, nga makakuha sila og sakit kay exposed man sila to a lot of people.”
“Mao na ang gihangyo ni Gov nga kining mga trabahante, work-home, work-home ra gyud ang rota,” he added.
The WTP will contain the name and photo of the worker, name of the LGU of residence, name of the company, point of origin and point of destination, as well sa the signature of the LGU’s mayor, vice mayor, and the municipal or town administrator.
Alegado said this move will hopefully lessen the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Meanwhile, a copy of the list of workers that were issued a WTP by the LGU will be forwarded to the Office of the Governor.
Companies are also encouraged to provide Capitol-authorized shuttle services for their workers residing in Cebu Province.
In a related development, the Bulacao border between Cebu City and Talisay City along N. Bacalso Avenue will also be opened to Cebu Province residents who will be returning to their respective hometowns starting August 3 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“The decision to open is made to make things easier for everyone. A checkpoint will remain to check the documentation para dili leisure ang lakaw,” Gullas said in his post.
After his meeting with Garcia, Gullas went to meet with Cebu City Hall officials and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease on the opening of the Bulacao order entering Cebu City.
He was told it will still be on “status quo,” which means they will not open the border for the meantime except for frontliners and hospital staff. So to enter Cebu City, motorists from the south of Cebu will still have to pass through the Cebu South Road Property (SRP) route.
“I believe people who want to go back to work or restart their individual businesses also know that no matter what classification, the virus remains, and they will need to play their part in implementing the minimum health protocols outside of residence,” he said. (Vanessa L. Almeda)