BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Bacolod Councilor Cindy Rojas wrote Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Lacson that the Bacolod City government, through its Action Team on Non-OFW Returning Residents (ANTORR), is willing to accept the entry of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) by air and sea travel from October 1 onwards.
“This is in line with Mayor Evelio Leonardia’s request to downgrade Bacolod City’s status from Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ). Also, because of the imposition of the status MECQ in Bacolod City since Sept. 8, which in effect put up a travel ban up to Sept. 30, our quarantine facilities are back in 100 percent capacity and are able to accommodate the entry of our LSIs,” Rojas said in her letter to Lacson dated Sept. 30.
“Furthermore, I was informed by the mayor that as per your latest phone conversation with him, you manifested that you are willing and amenable to the idea of allowing Bacolod City LSIs to enter the province through the Bacolod-Silay Airport,” she said.
Earlier, Lacson had requested Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease director Juan Jovian Ingeniero to give the province a 7-day moratorium on the entry of OFWs and LSIs to the province from Oct. 1 to 7, in order to prepare and decongest quarantine facilities before receiving them.
Lacson said that due to the rising number of COVID-positive cases in the province, they are having difficulty in ensuring that all returning OFWs and LSIs are properly accommodated in their quarantine facilities. As of Sept. 22, there are 2,713 confirmed COVID- positive cases in the province.
It is their protocol that returning OFWs and LSIs are subjected to mandatory quarantine pending the results of their RT-PCR tests, he said.*