DILG: Cebu Province policy for tourist and travellers’ entry acceptable
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said the policy of Cebu Province for the entry of tourists and travellers is acceptable.
This he clarified after it was reported that the DILG will force the governor to follow the guidelines on tourists, which Densing said was only based on a theoretical scenario since there is still no uniform guideline for tourist travels.
The policy of only presenting a medical certificate upon entry in Cebu by either tourist or traveller has no impediments from the general community quarantine guidelines.
As of now, there are no uniform guidelines of entry for tourists in areas under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) and local executives are given the authority to set up their guidelines reasonably anchored to the general guidelines for travelling.
“There are no violations. The omnibus guidelines for the implementation of the community quarantine in the Philippines, the local government units can issue reasonable regulations if any for travellers including APORs (authorized persons outside of residence) or non-APORs interzonal or intrazonal travel,” said Densing in a zoom interview.
There may be tighter regulations for interzonal travel such as a traveller from a General Community Quarantine (GCQ) area going to an MGCQ area, but for intrazonal travel, the restrictions are more lenient.
Densing said that the policy of Cebu Province can even be adapted by the tricites of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu so that the island will have a similar movement policy.
The mayors of Cebu’s tricities can issue an Executive Order and submit this to the DILG for review to ensure that there is no national guideline impeding the local order.
The undersecretary said this is the ultimate goal of the national government, to ease restrictions in travel and bring back the tourism industry and revive the local economies.
“Pwede magpatupad sila ana. Ang uban they can let it be kasi nilagay namin sa guidelines, ‘subject to reasonable regulations of the LGU if any.’ If wala siya, we will just let the non-APOR travel with the intrazonal or interzonal policies.”
“Pero kung naa siya like what Cebu has done, then we will simply review it if it aligns with the general guidelines of IATF. So far, in my review of Executive Order 9 and 12 of the Province of Cebu, wala may naviolate nga current protocols,” said Densing.
The undersecretary added that the no-swab policy for entry to a province or LGU can be applicable to both tourist and travellers and there are no impediments in that although tourists may present additional documents such as a hotel or resort booking schedule seven days prior to the trip.
As for the tricities, Densing suggests that it would be beneficial if they also adapt the removal of the swab testing as a requirement for entry so that there will be no trouble in the movement of people since the three cities are the entry point to the province through the seaports and the airport.
He encouraged them to look at Governor Garcia’s EO to see if they can adapt the policy, but make sure they are still aligned with the omnibus guidelines.
Furthermore, he added the DILG will be presenting this policy and other recommendations in MGCQ areas to the IATF so there will be uniform guidelines for intrazonal travel. /rcg
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