Bacolod-Iloilo ports close, reopen within 24 hours

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Both Mayors of Iloilo and Bacolod have called for the closure and then reopening of the ports in less than 24 hours.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio, in a statement released to the media before 5 p.m. yesterday, 21 July 2020, declared that “given the existing circumstances in Bacolod and Negros Occidental and also that in Iloilo City and the Province of Iloilo”, the city is closing its borders to passenger coming in from Iloilo City, province of Iloilo, and the whole of Panay including Guimaras.

The directive took effect yesterday, 11:59 p.m.

#JUSTIN | Mayor Evelio Leonardia reopens Bacolod borders effective immediately.*/CITY PIO

Posted by Bacolod City PIO on Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Iloilo Mayor Jerry Trenas had a similar directive earlier yesterday.

As of the last tally, Iloilo had 98 total cases, 48 of which are Locally Stranded Individuals/Overseas Filipino Workers/Authorized Persons Outside of Residence. Sixteen of these are active, while Bacolod had 92, with 36 active cases. Of the 36 active cases, 24 were LSI/OFW/APOR.

Earlier, Riverside Medical Center also announced that their CoViD facility is now at full capacity, making them incapable of accommodating CoViD-19 cases.

However, the mayors’ decisions were met with concern from various sectors.

Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital chief of hospital Julius Drilon, in his Facebook page, said he was “deeply disturbed” by the pronouncements on the closure, as it was made on what he called as “NON FACTUAL advisory of one healthcare facility declaring full capacity” of its CoViD area.

I am deeply disturbed by the pronouncements of our City officials on closing of borders between Iloilo and Bacolod….

Posted by Julius M. Drilon on Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Drilon called for both parties to retract the orders.

A joint statement from the Office of Civil Defense, the Department of Heath, and the Department of Interior and Local Government also requested both LGUs – Iloilo and Bacolod – to reconsider its decision.

The statement added that the Regional Task Force and the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force are closely monitoring CoViD-19 cases in the region and “will provide appropriate recommendations as needed.”

Both mayors, today, took back their directives and called for the re-opening of the ports and the resumption of trips effective immediately.

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