NegOcc seals borders; Bacolod under community quarantine

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has ordered the closure of borders, ports and airports in Negros Occidental until April 14 as part of the province’s intensified measures against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“After due consultation with the local chief executives, national agencies and medical experts, there is a need to implement measures in order to insulate Negros Occidental from Covid-19,” the governor said in Executive Order No. 20-15 issued just before midnight on Sunday.

In the three-page directive, Lacson declared the province’s borders, ports and airports closed effectively immediately, and restricted the entry of persons except those listed under five categories.

Allowed entry are all duly-identified residents of Negros Occidental, its cities and municipalities; health workers responding to emergency; members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and all branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP); persons traveling for urgent medical and humanitarian reasons; and persons transporting essential goods, supplies and medicines.

Lacson ordered the full activation of the Inter-agency Covid-19 Monitoring and Regulation Task Force.

The body is composed of the local government units and barangays, members of the PNP, AFP, Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine Coast Guard, and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

The governor directed the task force to man the borders of Negros Occidental by setting up checkpoints and prevent the entry of persons not allowed as stated in the EO.

These are specifically placed at the borders of Mabinay-Kabankalan, Bayawan-Hinoba-an, San Carlos-Vallehermoso, La Castellana-Canlaon and other roads that may be used as entry points.

The task force is also authorized to deny entry to all non-residents of the Province of Negros Occidental with or without symptoms of Covid-19, and allow entry to all returning residents of the province with or without Covid-19 symptoms, but they should be required to present a valid government-issued identification card.

Over the weekend, Lacson also issued two EOs related to the precautionary measures against Covid-19.

EO No. 20-13 declares that all passengers arriving from Metro Manila starting March 14 will be considered as persons under monitoring (PUMs) and will be asked to undergo a 14-day home quarantine upon their arrival in the province.

EO No. 20-14 orders the suspension of graduation and moving-up ceremonies until further notice in all levels in all private and public schools in the municipalities and component cities in the province of Negros Occidental.

In the capital city of Bacolod, Mayor Evelio Leonardia issued an order after midnight on Sunday, placing the city under a general community quarantine effective immediately.

“All land, sea and air travel to and from Bacolod shall be restricted,” Leonardia said in EO No. 21, Series of 2020.

During the general community quarantine, movement of goods and cargoes to and from the city shall not be hampered or restricted, but delivery persons shall be subject to necessary health checking procedures by the designated authorities.

The mayor also ordered the Philippine Coast Guard and the PNP-Bacolod City Police Office to secure the ports and borders of the city, respectively and set up checkpoints at the areas of entry of Bacolod.

On Saturday, Leonardia also issued three EOs as part of the precautionary measures against Covid-19.

EO No. 18 suspends the holding of mass gatherings and public events involving a large number of attendees until further notice while EO No. 19 declares persons coming from abroad, Metro Manila and areas with local transmission as PUMs and requires them to undergo home quarantine for 14 days.

EO No. 20 suspends classes in all public and private schools in all levels until further notice.

Source: Philippines News Agency