Returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) will be allowed to continue to return to Negros Occidental during the holidays despite the temporary ban on the arrival of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) to most towns and cities in the province, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said today, December 14.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has informed Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson that returning ROFs will be swabbed for COVID-19 tests in Manila and should not be tested again on their arrival in the province, Diaz said.
The governor will comply with that directive, Diaz said.
The national government expects 100,000 ROFs this December, he added.
ROFs cannot be refused entry otherwise they will be stranded in Manila or Cebu during the holidays, Diaz said.
However, ROFs who wish to be tested again on their arrival as an added safety precaution for their families will be accommodated by the provincial government, he added.
The Regional Inter-Agency Task Force has approved moratoriums on the arrival of LSIs in 17 LGUs, while the approval for Manapla town’s request is still pending.
Those granted moratoriums are Ilog (Dec. 20 to Jan. 3), Bago City (Nov. 26 to Dec. 5), La Carlota City (Dec. 22 to Jan. 2), Sagay City (Nov. 26 to Dec. 10), Pontevedra (Dec. 22 to Jan. 5), Negros Occidental (Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1), Himamaylan Dec. 21 to Jan. 3), Victorias City (Dec. 21 to Jan. 3), Calatrava (Dec. 21 to Jan. 3), Cauayan (Dec. 20 to Jan. 3), Bacolod City (Dec. 21 to Jan. 3), Hinoba-an ( Dec. 16 to Jan. 3), La Castellana (Dec. 22 to Jan. 5), Candoni (Dec. 17 to Dec. 31), Moises Padilla (Dec. 21 to Jan. 2), Valladolid (Dec. 24 to Jan. 1) and Sipalay City (Dec. 20 to Jan.2).
The governor only sought a four-day moratorium of flights arriving in Negros Occidental during to holidays to give time for Negrenses to come home for the holidays but with the LSI moratoriums in most towns and cities many who already booked their flights will be affected, Diaz said.
Diaz said one flight a day will continue to be allowed to arrive in Negros Occidental during the rest of December, as there are many who also need to fly out of Negros for jobs in other parts of the country and abroad, he added.
The governor has not approved additional flights to the province this December, he said.
However, Philippine Airlines representatives have relayed complaints that the travel plans of many have been affected by the LGU moratoriums, Diaz added.
The provincial government is studying the possibility of allowing the arrival of passengers, who will be affected by the LGU moratoriums, on December 20 so they can make it home for the holidays, Diaz said.
Incoming passengers are usually not allowed into Negros Occidental on Sundays.
If a Negrenses need to come home during the moratorium for valid reasons, they can perhaps make a request with the LGUs concerned, Diaz said.*