For prov­ince res­i­dents only


The Freeman - - Front Page - Le Phyl­lis F. An­to­jado Correspond­ent

As the na­tional gov­ern­ment lifts the travel ban on Tai­wan amid on­go­ing ef­forts to con­tain the coro­n­avirus dis­ease (COVID-19), au­thor­i­ties in Cebu de­cided to put a new pro­to­col in place in deal­ing with Filipinos who ar­rive at the Mac­tan Cebu In­ter­na­tional Air­port from coun­tries still cov­ered by the Philip­pines’ travel ban.

This af­ter sev­eral pas­sen­gers from Tai­wan who were made to un­dergo quar­an­tine here com­plained of the ac­com­mo­da­tion at the fa­cil­ity in Barangay Apas in Cebu City. The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment de­cided to al­low them to fly to Min­danao.

“Ang gami­ton nga pro­to­col would be, if they are not from Cebu and if they are on their way on some other LGU like Davao, ipa­dayon… adto na sila ipadala didto… atong dawa­ton na lang ang diri lang sa Cebu

(The pro­to­col we will use is to send them to their ul­ti­mate des­ti­na­tion. Only those who are from Cebu will be ac­com­mo­dated here),” Gar­cia said.

Twenty-one of 30 Filipino pas­sen­gers who ar­rived from Tai­wan on February 12 were al­lowed to fly to Min­danao on February 13 and 14 af­ter com­plain­ing of the ac­com­mo­da­tion at the quar­an­tine fa­cil­ity.

“Last night (February 13), murag 14 ang nakalarga via Cebu Pa­cific. Early this morn­ing (February 14), pito ang ninglarga via Philip­pine Air­lines (PAL),” said MCIAA Gen­eral Man­ager Steve Dicdi­can yes­ter­day.

The 21 pas­sen­gers were sent to the fa­cil­ity in Barangay Apas be­cause the fa­cil­ity in Barangay Lahug was al­ready full.

The nine pas­sen­gers from Cebu are now at the quar­an­tine fa­cil­ity in

Pi­na­munga­jan town.

Capi­tol con­sul­tant, Atty. Rory Jon Sepul­veda, said the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment never promised ho­tel-like ac­com­mo­da­tion.

"While we un­der­stand the anx­i­ety of those who are un­der quar­an­tine, the gover­nor has been very clear from the very be­gin­ning that this is going to be a spar­tan-like ac­com­mo­da­tion. If they want a ho­tel, it would be at their ex­pense," he said.

Capi­tol also em­pha­sized that the de­ci­sion to quar­an­tine is clear and has le­gal grounds.

Gar­cia said the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment is only im­ple­ment­ing the direc­tive of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte to place Filipino pas­sen­gers and per­ma­nent visa hold­ers from China and of its spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gions on manda­tory 14-day quar­an­tine.

Gar­cia is­sued

Ex­ec­u­tive Order 5 and 5-A to pro­tect the prov­ince from COVID-19, which is now a "global health con­cern" ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Pro­vin­cial Health Of­fi­cer Cristina Giangco also em­pha­sized that it is the Bureau of Quar­an­tine (BOQ) and the De­part­ment of Health (DOH) that ac­cept and process the ar­rivals at the Mac­tan Cebu In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

"Filipinos or per­ma­nent visa hold­ers who ar­rive are be­ing sorted by the BOQ and the DOH. They are the ones who make the as­sess­ment whether one qual­i­fies for home quar­an­tine. If these per­sons un­der mon­i­tor­ing (PUM) do not qual­ify for HQ (home quar­an­tine), they are sent to a quar­an­tine fa­cil­ity (QF)," Giango said.

Those sent by BOQ for HQ are re­ferred to the Pro­vin­cial Health Of­fice, which in turn, co­or­di­nates with the lo­cal gov­ern­ment unit where the pas­sen­ger re­sides. The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment pro­vides the ve­hi­cle that brings the pas­sen­ger to his city or town. The lo­cal gov­ern­ment unit would then mon­i­tor the pas­sen­ger for 14 days.

Sepul­veda said the de­ci­sion to al­low pas­sen­gers to un­dergo home quar­an­tine lies with the DOH and BOQ.

Giango said the pas­sen­gers who were sent to the prov­ince's quar­an­tine fa­cil­ity most likely did not pass the re­quire­ments for home quar­an­tine.

Un­der Gar­cia's EO No. 5, pro­to­cols for home quar­an­tine re­quires a sep­a­rate bed­room for the per­son to be iso­lated; house­hold mem­bers must have PPE avail­able such as gloves and face masks; and house­hold mem­bers with an in­creased risk of com­pli­ca­tion such as chil­dren, the el­derly, and the sick should not be present at the house of the per­son to be iso­lated.

More than a hun­dred cou­ples tie the knot in a mass wed­ding cer­e­mony or­ga­nized by the Cebu City Gov­ern­ment and Pag-IBIG at Fort San Pe­dro on Valen­tine's Day. ALDO NELBERT BANAYNAL

As many opted to cel­e­brate Valen­tine’s Day out­side, Cebu City’s up­town area ex­pe­ri­enced heavy traf­fic last night. ALDO NELBERT BANAYNAL

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