BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN / ADRIAN P. NEMES
The request of Western Visayas officials to extend the travel moratorium from the National Capital Region, provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, and the cities of Cebu and Davao to Western Visayas for one week has been granted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and National Task Force Against Covid-19.
Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, chairperson of the National Task Force against Covid-19, in his letter dated April 11 to Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, said that the extended travel moratorium will be from April 13 to April 19.
“Concomitant to this request is the guaranteed unimpeded movement of cargos in and out of the region,” Lorenzana said.
The initial travel moratorium for inbound travelers to Western Visayas ended on April 10.
Lorenzana said that they granted the request for an extension of travel moratorium for seven days, to give more breathing space to local officials in preventing Covid-19 transmission and protect their health care system from being overwhelmed.
He also said they moved the period of effectivity to give due notice to all those planning to travel, or are already travelling to Region 6.
This time must be used to undertake further measures to intensify the enforcement and monitoring of compliance to the minimum public health standards and to strengthen your health care system’s capacities, Lorenzana said.
On Thursday, Treñas wrote to Lorenzana and requested that all incoming flights, sea voyages and land travel from NCR and its neighboring provinces as well as from Cebu and Davao, transporting locally stranded individuals and authorized persons outside residences be suspended from April 11 to 17.
Treñas said that it is noticeable that there is an alarming surge of cases with more persons travelling from those places.
The travel ban, Lorenzana said, does not include the returning overseas Filipino workers.
Meanwhile, Treñas said he is now coordinating with Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor Jr. regarding the increasing cases of coronavirus disease in Bacolod and Negros Occidental. He said they are set to come up with a unified decision on travel protocols between Iloilo, Bacolod, and Negros Occidental soon.*