SENATE President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III expressed support of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s Executive Order 17 and Provincial Ordinance 2021-04 that mandates the implementation of the swab-upon-arrival policy of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) bound for Cebu.
“I support Cebu Governor Garcia in their ordinance for Cebu residents, OFWs, and ROFs to have a swab-upon-arrival policy. Hindi na kailangan mag quarantine sa mga hotels for 10 days or more. Pagdating, swab agad. After the negative results within 24 hours, they are sent home and undergo home quarantine for the remaining balance of the 14 days required and will be monitored by the barangay. After seven days, the second swab will be done by the local government unit of residence in Cebu,” he said.
READ: Capitol issues travel protocols for repatriated OFWs, returning non-OFWs
In a statement posted by Sugbo News on its Facebook page, Sotto said that through this procedure, the IATF-required quarantine and swab test are not violated.
“The purpose for which these protocols were put in place has not been defeated. It’s actually a win-win situation for both the OFWs and ROFs and the government. This is an innovative, safe, and reasonable protocol, especially for our OFWs,” he said.
He said that he looked forward to having this “best practice” implemented throughout the country.
Sotto said that the IATF guidelines are giving additional burden on OFWs and ROFs by requiring them to spend their time and hard-earned money to stay in hotels and accredited quarantine facilities for a minimum of 10 days from arrival and a swab test is done only seven days from arrival.
READ: Guv invokes local government code to address ROF, OFW quarantine policy
Garcia had said that the IAFT quarantine policy will disrupt the schedule and further strain the finances of the ROFs and OFWs who came to Cebu for various reasons, such as dealing with a family emergency or attending a burial.
Meanwhile, the Malacañang issued an extension of the diversion of Cebu-bound international flights to Metro Manila until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, 2021.
READ: Cebu-bound int'l flights get diverted to Manila again
The purpose of the flight diversion is to give the Mactan Cebu International Airport the time to follow the protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. (NRC, PR)