BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Mayor Ernesto Estrao said yesterday that he intends to open the Hinobaan border with Basay and Bayawan in Negros Oriental, for a limited period of time.
This was after Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental also opened its border with Mabinay in Negros Oriental, with travelers in private vehicles allowed to stay for not more than 12 hours.
Estrao said he will write letters to Basay Mayor Beda Canamaque and Bayawan Mayor Pryde Henry Teves today, to relay his intention of allowing residents in the three LGUs to make transactions for 10 to 12 hours. He added that he will inform Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson of his proposal.
He admitted that Covid-19 has tremendously affected the city’s tourism industry and its economy.
Estrao said they have been strictly implementing the health protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force at the Hinobaan-Basay border ever since by allowing only the entry of people with specific purposes and with travel orders.
Local tourists from the different LGUs of Negros Occidental are now allowed to enter Hinobaan if they have medical health certificates, he added.
As of Feb. 20, Hinobaan had four active Covid cases, while Basay had no new case, and Bayawan had 10, as of Feb. 19.
The city government of San Carlos in Negros Occidental will also restore the checkpoints in its boundary with Vallehermoso and Canlaon City in Negros Oriental, starting today, Mayor Renato Gustilo said.*