Amid new protocols, NegOcc Capitol to retain swab tests, quarantine for LSIs

PHOTO CAPTION: Negros Occidental will continue to require swab testing and quarantine for returning Negrense LSIs as Gov. Lacson says he does not approve of the recently-issued uniform protocols by the NIATF./iNEWS

BACOLOD CITY–The provincial government of Negros Occidental will continue to require swab tests and quarantine for returning locally stranded individuals (LSIs) to the province, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said Monday.

Lacson said the NIATF’s new protocols are somewhat “contradictory” as it had given local government units (LGUs) the power to “impose RT-PCR test prior to traveling.”

Lacson said a meeting was held among stakeholders in Region 6, and it was decided that they’ll continue maintaining their protocols.

“When travelers arrive, they’ll be tested and quarantined,” Lacson said. “I hope Negrenses cooperate as this is for their own good.”

Lacson pointed out the importance of testing travelers by citing the recent spike in COVID-19 cases comprised mostly of LSIs and Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APORs).

GOV. Lacson said swab testing is crucial if they want to avoid a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the province./iNEWS

“Our numbers jumped to 21 overnight,” he said, adding, “All of them came from outside the province. You can just imagine if these travelers came in undetected. Then we would have problems with local transmission.”

Lacson also said that the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) will make an appeal on Resolution 101 issued by the NIATF.

The governor said that “many governors don’t like the way it is being proposed right now.”

Earlier on Saturday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the NIATF has allowed uniform travel protocols across all LGUs in order to ease quarantine and documentary requirements.

Under NIATF Resolution No. 101 travelers will no longer be compelled to undergo quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms upon arriving at their destination.

Travelers are also no longer required to secure travel authorities or health certificates, either.

However, LGUs are given the option of making RT-PCR testing a requirement prior to travel.

Authorized persons outside of residence (APORS) from national government agencies and their attached agencies, on the other hand, must provide their identification card, travel order, and travel itinerary.

They must likewise pass symptom-screening at the ports of entry and exit, he said. (Eugene Y. Adiong/iNEWS-Bacolod-/Negros Bureau)

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