Vans, ambulances being used to ‘smuggle’ persons out of Cebu City for a fee?
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Amid the spike of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Cebu City, some delivery vans and even ambulances are allegedly facilitating an “illegal exodus” of persons from the city into the towns and cities in the province for a fee ranging from P200 to P500 per person.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia revealed this scheme during her regular press conference on Thursday, April 16, 2020, after meeting with the Provincial Board Members.
Garcia said the illegal exodus was prompted by the increase of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City.
The province, since March 30, has prohibited the entry of persons from Cebu City except for essential workers that are exempted from the border and mobility restrictions of the enhanced community quarantine.
“Kining uban , manago sa mga delivery vans, manago sa mga cargo vehicles, ug gani hasta pa sa mga ambulansya. Kung naay kaila sa driver, inig balik didto sa mga lungsod, dili kay driver ra ug nurse ang naa or kung kinsay naay laing sakay, dunay uban nga ikarga,” Garcia said.
Garcia said the mayors have already expressed concern over this scheme as it may also facilitate the movement of COVID-19 contamination in the towns.
“Concerned gyud kaayo sila karon nga bisag walay public transportation, kining atong mga delivery vans ug cargo trucks maoy gihimo nga pamaagi nga maka-smuggle out og mga tawo gikan diri sa Cebu City nga gusto molingkawas sa ilang kahadlok nga sigeg saka ang number of cases,” Garcia said.
Garcia said the police and the military in the border checkpoints will now be strictly inspecting delivery trucks and vans heading back to the towns from Cebu City to deter the said “smuggling” of persons.
The governor warned the drivers that they will be held legally liable if their vehicles will be found transporting unauthorized persons from Cebu City into the jurisdiction of the province.
“Karon pa lang striktohon na og inspection ang tanan nga mogawas nga delivery vans, cargo trucks pagtan-aw kung driver ra ba gyud ug usa ka delivery boy ang sakay. Sigon sa atong execuitve order, mao ra nay gitugotan. Kung dunay sobra, buot pasabot ana, gi-smuggle out na na ug manubag ang driver ana kay di man na mahimo nga nakasakay nga wala kahibawo ang driver,” Garcia said. /rcg
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