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Easier travel now to Cebu Province
By: Vanessa Almeda | Published Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Starting February 9, travelling to Cebu Province has become easier as mandatory testing, quarantine, and letters of acceptance are no longer needed. (File Photo/Lito Tecson)

All those who want to travel to the Province of Cebu no longer have to go through mandatory testing and quarantine. Letters of acceptance from the local government unit of destination are also not required anymore. 

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia issued Executive Order (EO) No. 9 which simplified the guidelines for persons travelling to the Province. The EO took effect Tuesday, February 9.

The EO, however, does not apply to Overseas Filipino Workers and returning Overseas Filipinos arriving in the Province as they are subject to different regulations set by the IATF-MEID and other Executive Orders.

Authorized Persons Outside of Residences (APORs) need only to present identification documents, authority to travel signed by their agency official, and follow minimum health standards.

Non-APORs will only have to present a valid medical certificate to enter the Province. Both have to pass symptoms checking and screening at the point of departure and at the point of arrival.

The EO also enjoined LGUs under the Province’s jurisdiction to follow suit so as not to confuse the public. But if it chooses to issue its own regulation, it has to submit it to the governor for approval. 

Garcia made the decision following reports reaching her that travelers who enter the Province, particularly Cebuanos who arrive at the airport, were subjected to stringent interviews and long queues.

The governor pointed out that other government officials and agencies seem to think that they are still dealing with Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI). 

“Wala namay LSI. Dugay naman tang nag-ease sa atong restrictions, August pa,” she told top officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Central Visayas and the Province, Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Integrated Provincial Health Office in a meeting prior to the issuance of the EO.

Since August 2020, Cebu Province and the entire Cebu island including the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Cebu were placed under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

On January 21, 2021, the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) amended the Omnibus Guidelines for the implementation of community quarantine in the country. 

Quoting the amended guidelines, Garcia questioned the enforcement of strict measures when the IATF has eased up its rules. 

She said Cebuanos go through unnecessary trouble because of these measures, slowing down the Province’s work on reviving the economy. 

The governor also underscored the seeming different treatments of APORs and non-APORs. 

“What makes APORs special compared to non-APORs? Why do we make life difficult for these people (non-APORs) who only eke out a living,” she lamented. (Vanessa L. Almeda)