By Julius D Mariveles and Hannah A Papasin
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – City Administrator Em Ang said City Hall will continue clarify with officials of the regional inter-agency task force on the recent resolution it has issued imposing new travel restrictions in Western Visayas region.
Ang told DNX she was surprised the RIATF advisory dated 23 March was suddenly issued when it was agreed upon during the RIATF meeting on 19 March that the resolution must first be approved by the national IATF that is yet to meet on Friday, 26 March.
Ang attended the RIATF meeting representing Mayor Evelio Leonardia and was surprised that the restrictions were put in place because “these were not discussed.”
In fact, local government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing attended the RIATF 17 March meeting.
She added while City Hall is relying on clarifications being sought by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Trenas, she and City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan are also seeking clarifications.
The RIATF resolution to suspend travel into the region should have been done a long time ago, Bacolod Vice-Mayor El Cid Familiaran told DNX.
The resolution is product of recommendations from other local executives, he said.
Earlier, Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson called for a 14-day moratorium on travel for sea, air, and land as national cases rise.
Familiaran added the moratorium is an ideal measure to contain the virus, since the region is composed of island provinces, so restricting travel is most ideal to prevent virus transmission.
Familiarian added that another measure would be to require APORs, even Locally Stranded Individuals to present a negative RT-PCR test result, especially those coming from areas with high number of confirmed cases.