CEBU Governor Gwendolyn Garcia clarified that the Cebu Provincial Government has not restricted the admission of passengers, including the locally stranded individuals and authorized persons outside of residence, at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Lapu-Lapu City.
The passengers do not need to get a letter of acceptance from the Office of the Governor and mayors for them to enter Cebu Province.
This was Garcia’s statement during a press conference on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, after she discovered that the Cebu City Government has an order that requires newly arrived passengers to present their letters of acceptance from the governor’s office and local governments units (LGU).
“I gave no such order. They totally misrepresented the Province of Cebu and the name of the governor,” Garcia said.
The Cebu City order was reportedly implemented in January 2021. Garcia said she only learned about it during a recent meeting held at the Capitol.
“Nakugang na lang ang atong mga kaigsuonan nga duna nay booth, naa nay gibutang nga passageway kung asa kuti-kutihon, pangayoan og (Our fellow Cebuanos were stunned upon seeing a booth, a passageway where they were grilled, and asked to submit their) letter(s) of acceptance from the governor and LGU mayors,” Garcia said.
The governor added: “Wala ko mahibaw nga mao na diay to ilang gibuhat nga polisiya sa Probinsya sa Sugbo. Gigamit ang akong ngan. (I had no knowledge there was such a policy from the Province of Cebu. They used my name).”
Garcia said she asked Andrew Harrison, chief executive advisor of MCIA operator GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), about it. Harrision told her that GMCAC had received a letter from Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, also IATF Emergency Operations Center (EOC)-Cebu City deputy chief implementer, asking MCIA to get the letters of acceptance from the newly arrived passengers.
“Since when ilang awtoridad naapil na sa Probinsya (Since when has their authority extended to the Province)?” Garcia said.
The authority of the Cebu Provincial Government covers six component cities (Bogo, Carcar, Danao, Naga, Talisay and Toledo) and 44 municipalities. Independent from the Capitol are the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.
In the latter part of 2020, Garcia decided not to restrict movement at the Cebu Province’s borders so her constituents can go back to their hometowns without delay. This is the governor’s way of reopening the local economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (ANV)