BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Acknowledging that some local government units may have been experiencing “fatigue”, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said yesterday that relaxing the border control at the provincial level will have “a very dangerous effect”, and the provincial government of Negros Occidental wants to avoid it.
Diaz said that medical society experts still warned that “it is not wise for us to the complacent”, noting the resurgence of cases in other areas, like Cebu, that open their tourism areas and cause alarm to other sectors.
Vallehermoso and Mabinay towns in Negros Oriental have opened their respective borders with the cities of San Carlos and Kabankalan in Negros Occidental, after a drop in the number of Covid active cases had been noted.
Kabankalan, however, allows only residents of Mabinay to enter and stay in the city within 24 hours, Mayor Pedro Zayco said.
“They can’t go beyond Kabankalan City,” Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Monday, noting also that Mabinay residents are highly dependent on Kabankalan for transactions in banks and even pharmacies.
As of Feb. 15, active Covid cases in Negros Occidental went down to 70, while Negros Oriental had 167 active cases.
Diaz said the Provincial Development Council of Negros Occidental will meet on Friday, and topics to be discussed include the easing of border controls by some LGUs.
He said that, in agreement with the mayors, travel in and out of Negros Occidental is still restricted and borders remain closed, unless it is superseded by an executive order.
Meanwhile, the couple from Pontevedra town, who recently misrepresented themselves as locally stranded individuals instead of overseas Filipino workers, and who may face charges, has asked Lacson for consideration.
Diaz said the Provincial Legal Office has recommended to Lacson the filing of charges against the couple, for committing a serious crime against public health and a violation of the protocol.
He said Lacson is considering whether “to sustain the legal point of view of filing cases against them or he will side with compassion.” It will be the governor who will make the public announcement soon, Diaz said.*