The Western Visayas Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has agreed to hold in abeyance the implementation of national IATF Resolution No. 101 setting uniform nationwide travel protocols for land, air and sea pending clarifications, Local Government Regional Director Jovian Engeniero said.
The requests to maintain the status quo were sought by local government units in a WV IATF meeting today, February 28, said Engeniero, who heads the region’s task force, said.
In Negros Occidental, the provincial government will continue to require all passengers arriving in Negros Occidental by air and sea to be swabbed for COVID-19 tests and quarantined despite Resolution 101, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said.
Resolution 101 issued Friday, February 26, states that no traveler will be required to undergo quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms upon arrival at the local government unit (LGU) of destination.
Testing will not be mandatory for the traveler except if the LGU of destination will require it prior to travel and as such shall be limited to RT-PCR tests, it also said.
Diaz said Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson’s executive order requiring swab tests and quarantine was issued before the national IATF Resolution 101.
Hence, we will ask for approval of our mandatory swabbing and quarantine, effective for the month of March 2021, he added.
He stressed that all passengers bound to Negros Occidental, except Bacolod, are not required to show their negative RT-PCT Test result prior to boarding. However, all passengers bound to Negros Occidental should undergo swab and quarantine upon arrival. LGUs will still be the one to fetch them,” Diaz said.
Under Resolution 101, passengers shall not be required to have travel authorities and medical certificates prior to travel.
The Negros Occidental provincial government has requested all airlines “to kindly have strict health measures especially to those who show COVID-19 symptoms. With this, med cert links will be temporarily suspended. However, all airlines are still required to submit their passenger list with passenger’s corresponding LGU for proper coordination upon arrival at the airport”, he said.
The provincial also requested all airlines to advise all guests to process their Notice of Coordination from their receiving LGUs days before the flight. Some LGU will not be accepting LSIs without prior coordination, Diaz added
Bacolod City will continue to require all incoming passengers to undergo RT-PCR tests three days before arrival, City Administrator Em Ang.
They will only be allowed in the city if they have negative RT-PCR test results, said Ang, who is also executive director of the Bacolod Emergency Operations Task Force.
Engeniero said among the Resolution 101 requirements that need clarification with the Department of Science and Technology is the implementation of the Safe Swift and Smart (S-Pass) Travel Management System.
The Regional AITF resolution passed today states that the status quo will be retained while enjoining Western Visayas LGUs to prepare for full utilization of the S-Pass, Ang said.
Bacolod already has a BaCTrac system with 80 percent of its population registered, Ang said.
We want to know if the BaCTrac can be linked to the S-Pass so residents will only have one QR code, she said.*