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Gov gives another chance to EOC personnel to explain
By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Inset: The Cebu City EOC personnel who manned the booth and alleyway at the Mactan Cebu Airport where Province-bound passengers were asked to present the letter of acceptance from the Governor and the LGU of destination.

After failing to show up in a scheduled meeting with Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Tuesday, February 2, the governor is giving the personnel of the Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) a second chance to show up and explain themselves.

The EOC personnel reportedly manned a booth at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) posing as representatives of the Province of Cebu. 

Garcia found out that a booth and an alleyway was set up in the MCIA specifically where the EOC personnel asked passengers, including those bound for Cebu Province to present a Letter of Acceptance from the Governor or the local government unit (LGU) of their destination.

The governor said she did not give such order.

On August 24, 2020, MCIA and GMR Megawide received a letter that mentioned of the “required Letter of Coordination from the Barangay of Residence in the City of Cebu for Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APORs) traveling to the City of Cebu from Metro Manila.”

The letter was signed by Joel C. Garganera, deputy chief implementor of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and head of the EOC in Cebu City. 

Aside from the airport authorities, it was also sent to the Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, and all other concerned agencies.

According to Garcia, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation Chief Executive Advisor Andrew Harrison had the impression that the EOC personnel manning the booth and alleyway since January were employees of the Cebu Provincial Government as they kept mentioning the name of the governor.

The EOC personnel include Carl Joseph Jerez, Clint Guijarno, Butch Ian Gualiza, Mafi Espinosa, Jennifer Javellana, Gian Carl Reyes, Maria Ceilo Flores, and Renato Bago, Jr.

MCIAA Acting General Manager Atty. Glenn Napoli told Sugbo News their office is also conducting a separate investigation.

“The letter (of coordination) should only apply to Cebu City. Pero ang akong gikahibudngan nga giapil man ang Probinsya. Wa gani mi masayod, wa gani mi pasabta nga ang mga manglingkod gikan sa Emergency Operations Center,” the governor said in a press conference Tuesday, February 2, 2021.

“Since when nga ang ilang otoridad niabot na diri sa Probinsya? Dili man gani ko maka-issue og executive order sa Cebu City. That should work vice-versa nga unsay ilang pamalaud ayaw iapil-apil ang Probinsya kay ilaha man na,” she emphasized.

A notice is now posted on five strategic points in MCIA after Garcia clarified that she did not require additional documents to be presented in the airport for those traveling to the Province. (Eleanor Valeros)