BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Locally stranded individuals are not allowed entry to Bacolod City starting Dec. 21, after the Regional Inter Agency Task Force approved the 14-day moratorium earlier requested by local officials, City Administrator Em Ang said.
Ang, who is also the executive director of the Emergency Operations Center, said LSIs who wish to return to Bacolod for the Christmas and New Year celebrations should travel early instead.
Several LSIs, who already bought tickets and are travelling within the period of the moratorium expressed dismay at such development over the social media, but Ang said the moratorium should be followed.
Councilor Cindy Rojas, who is facilitating the return of LSIs to Bacolod, had earlier appealed to the regional IATF to temporarily halt the arrival of returning residents of Bacolod from areas outside Western Visayas.
In reply, Region 6 IATF head secretariat, Christian Naganay, said the Department of Health in Western Visayas, led by Dr. Marlyn Convocar, posed no objection to Rojas’ appeal.
Department of Interior and Local Government Region 6 director Juan Jovian Ingeniero, chairperson of the RIATF, approved the moratorium on the return of LSIs to Bacolod.
The Bacolod EOC said the moratorium is necessary to give them ample time to prepare the isolation facilities for the LSIs who will be quarantined.
It added that the respite would enable health workers and other frontliners to rest for at least two weeks.
Other than Bacolod, the RIATF also approved the moratorium on the arrivals of LSIs in other towns and cities of Negros Occidental.
Starting Dec. 16 to 22, LSIs will not be allowed entry to the municipality of Hinobaan, and from Dec. 22 to Jan. 5 in La Castellana and Pontevedra.
As of Dec. 12, the RIATF also approved a moratorium on LSI arrivals in Ilog, the cities of La Carlota, Bago, Himamaylan, and Victorias, and the municipalities of Calatrava, Cauayan, and Negros Occidental.
The concerned LGUs requested the suspension so they can disinfect and decongest their quarantine facilities before receiving returning residents, and to allow their frontliners to rest.
The RIATF has yet to act on similar requests made by the municipalities of Manapla, Candoni, Moises Padilla, and Valladolid.
Meanwhile, Mayor Ernesto Estrao issued an executive order suspending the curfew implementation in Hinobaan on Dec. 24 and 31. The curfew hours in the town starts at 10 p.m. until 4 a.m.*WITH GPB