Labella pens EO restricting travelers from outside Cebu

·4 min read

TRAVELERS from outside Cebu Province will have a hard time entering Cebu City if they do not have legitimate reasons or a medical certificate indicating they are Covid-19 negative.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labell issued Executive Order (EO) 105 on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, setting the guidelines for inbound travel to Cebu City. But it caused noise on social media after it failed to clarify that presenting Covid-19 test results was applicable only to persons from outside Cebu coming in via the airport and seaports who then enter Cebu City.

This was clarified in EO 105-A, issued on Tuesday, Nov. 17, which specified that EO 105 applies only to persons who travel to Cebu City from other provinces outside Cebu Province.

EO 105 was issued to restrict travel to Cebu City following a rise in Covid-19 cases.

The Department of Health (DOH) 7 had reported 59 new cases in Cebu City last Nov. 14, the highest reported cases in a single day in Cebu City since Nov. 1.

Last Monday, the DOH 7 reported that Cebu City had only three new Covid-19 cases. On Tuesday night, the DOH 7 reported 12 new cases in Cebu City.

Border control

The Cebu City Government also reimplemented its strict border controls that slow down traffic in areas near the city’s borders with Mandaue City and Talisay City.

As for Labella’s EO 105, it says persons who travel to Cebu City from provinces outside Cebu Province shall be allowed entry to Cebu City only after presenting an Authority to Enter (ATE), which will be issued after these persons submit specific documents to the Cebu City Government’s portal at www.mics.cebucity.gov.ph/inboundapplication.

Government authorized persons outside residence (Apor) such as government employees and officials on official business must submit a medical certificate that they have not shown symptoms of Covid-19 or influenza-like illness in the seven days before travel, a travel order issued by their head of agency, and a government agency ID.

A private Apor must submit RT-PCR negative results for a test taken 3 days from travel date, a work/travel order from his company, company ID, travel itinerary in Cebu City, round-trip ticket/travel details and confirmed accommodation booking in Cebu City.

The EO also specifies the documents needed for travel by locally stranded individuals (LSIs), for medical reasons, for cadaver transfer, for visa/embassy appointments, and non-essential travel, to obtain an ATE.

A Cebu City native in a province outside Cebu who wants to travel back to the city needs an ATE if he falls under the category of locally stranded individual or private Apor.

Labella’s new EO does not cover repatriated overseas Filipino workers and returning overseas Filipinos.

Apor and workers living in other towns and cities in Cebu and going to Cebu City may present only their company ID or certificate of employment.

The curfew, from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., will continue.

Cebu City and the entire Cebu Province are under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until the end of November.

Mandaue’s actions

In Mandaue City, the city government will intensify the implementation of quarantine protocol at the barangay level, instead of tightening the border control points.

Lawyer John Eddu Ibañez, executive secretary of Mayor Jonas Cortes, said as more establishments opened under MGCQ, a strict border control will give a hard time to workers passing through Mandaue City.

The local economy, he said, will not improve if the authorities are strict at the entry points. Mandaue City is the gateway to northern Cebu and Lapu-Lapu City.

Ibañez said the mayor wants barangay residents to wear masks and observe social distancing. In the interior parts of the villages, several residents fail to practice the required minimum health measures.

The Covid-19 transmission in Mandaue City mostly happens in workplaces and public places.

Ibañez said the Mandaue City Enforcement Unit and barangay officials will strictly enforce the health protocol in the interior parts.

Mandaue City has an ordinance penalizing individuals not wearing a face mask in public places. The fine is P5,000.

No more traffic

On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Ibañez said there was no more traffic congestion in areas near the Cebu City-Mandaue City border points.

On Nov. 16, a gridlock was experienced during the rush hour, from 6 to 8 a.m. and 4 to 5 p.m., during the first day of the Cebu City Government’s reimplementation of its strict border controls in portions of North Reclamation Area, Barangay Subangdaku and Barangay Banilad.

Ibañez said the traffic enforcers of Mandaue City monitored border points that may cause heavy traffic on some streets in Mandaue City, particularly the Barangay Panagdait, Cebu City border point, which is connected to Hernan Cortes St. in Subangdaku. (PAC / KAL / KFD)