BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The provincial governments of both Negros Occidental and Oriental are not easing their border control, despite the opening of borders in the municipalities of Vallehermoso and Mabinay to adjacent areas in the Occidental side.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday that they were not informed of the opening up of borders in Mabinay and Vallehermoso in Negros Oriental, to adjacent areas in Negros Occidental.
Vallehermoso is the last town of Negros Oriental in the north and shares boundaries with San Carlos City in Negros Occidental, while Mabinay is situated in central Negros, bounded by Kabankalan City, and is a shorter route to Bacolod City.
Lacson said he got information that Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo has issued an executive order to impose strict border controls.
“We will keep it as it is right now,” Lacson said, in reply to a question if Negros Occidental will open its border with Negros Oriental.
Bimbo Miraflor, Negros Oriental provincial government information officer, said in a statement that the province “in general is not easing border control” and that the decision of the local government units of Vallehermoso and Mabinay to open their borders still needs the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases of Region 7.
Miraflor said that Negros Occidental is still implementing strict border control, although Mabinay and Vallehermoso have eased their border controls.
“As far as the provincial government is concerned, the executive order of Degamo is still in effect, and the easing of LGU border controls in Mabinay and Vallehermoso will not assure the traveling public of ease of entry into the province without securing the necessary documentary requirements for travel and following the minimum health protocols,” he added.
Negros Occidental provincial administrator Rayfrando Diaz said the mayors of the towns and cities in the province are still concerned over the effect of the lifting of borders to the Oriental side.
“Negros Oriental is not threatened by us because we are successful in curbing the spread of Covid-19 but they still have many cases,” Diaz said. Negros Occidental has 105 Covid cases, as of Feb. 6, compared to 253 active infections in Negros Oriental, as of Feb. 5.*