Mayor Ernesto Estrao is eyeing the opening of the border of Hinoba-an in southern Negros Occidental to residents of Bayawan City and Basay in Negros Oriental for a maximum of 12 hours a day for essential business.
He will discuss the matter with Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, and mayors Henry Teves of Bayawan and Maki Cañamague of Basay, Estrao said today, February 21.
Hinoba-an only allows persons from the Oriental side to enter for official business, but is open to visitors from Negros Occidental
Lacson has an existing executive order stating that the borders between Negros Occidental and Oriental should remain closed as a deterrent against the spread of COVID-19.
Lacson last week said the provincial government will ease border control between Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental and Mabinay town in Negros Oriental starting March 1 mainly to boost commerce and trade while observing health protocols against COVID-19.
Residents of Mabinay will be allowed to enter Kabankalan for up to 12 hours a day only for essential business.
San Carlos Mayor Renato Gustilo said he would also discuss the protocol for the easing of border controls between his city and Vallehermoso town and Canlaon City in Negros Oriental with the governor this week.
The border between San Carlos and Vallehermoso has been open for some months already despite the EO of the governor.
Estrao said while Negros Oriental residents are still not allowed to visit tourist destinations in Hinoba-an, they are now open to tourists from the Occidental side.
Tourism destinations are now allowed to open up to 50 percent of their venue capacity, he said.
Negros Occidental residents entering Hinoba-an are required to observe minimum health protocols, and must have doctor’s certificates, he said.
Estrao said Hinoba-an’s tourism industry had been badly affected by the COVID-129 pandemic.
But of the 58 COVID-19 cases in Hinoba-an since March, at present they only have four active cases and no local transmissions, he said.*