IN SAN RAFAEL Concerned citizen raps ‘sloppy, chaotic procedures’ in issuance of travel passes

PHOTO CAPTION: The San Rafael LGU headed by Mayor Roberto Belleza (foreground) is being criticized for its alleged poor—and slow—handling of the issuance of travel passes./iNEWS (File photo of Belleza from Taga Lemery Iloilo Ako FB page)

ILOILO–A concerned citizen from the town of San Rafael, Iloilo, recently complained about the ‘sloppy and chaotic’ procedures being employed by the said town’s local government in issuing travel passes to its residents wanting to pass through its border control checkpoints.

According to Russell, not his real name, no less than 200 residents went to the municipal hall last Friday, June 4, to get themselves a travel pass.

He said it was 9 o’clock in the morning when he arrived at the San Rafael town hall to get a travel pass, but he was only able to get hold of one at past 2 pm in the afternoon. Evidently, what appeared to be a simple exercise took him five full hours to complete.

In addition, he also noted that those queuing for a travel pass were not observing proper physical distancing, which is among the most basic minimum public health standards amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Based on Executive Order No. 175 issued by Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor, Jr. recently, municipal mayors are tasked to issue travel passes to Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR) who are either working or into business as part of the livelihood sectors.

Travel passes are also required if one goes outside the town’s borders to purchase basic necessities.

Meanwhile, the authority to issue travel passes can be delegated to barangay captains to decongest the town hall of those seeking travel passes as well as prevent additional costs in getting one.

It was learned it was the exact same process that town residents had to go through last year when San Rafael was placed under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) status together with the entire province.

San Rafael Mayor Roberto Belleza is yet to issue a statement in reaction to the said complaint. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)

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