Chan backs Gwen’s no RT-PCR test policy for local tourists
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan is willing to harmonize the city’s policy with that of the Cebu Provincial Government for tourists and travelers who want to visit Cebu.
Earlier, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia issued an Executive Order (E.O.) lifting the requirement of a negative RT-PCR test for tourists and travelers bound for Cebu Province.
Chan said that he is in favor of the move, especially that both Lapu-Lapu City and Cebu Province consider tourism as the bread and butter of their economy.
The mayor added that he is willing to execute an E.O. in consonance with the policy set by Garcia for tourists and travelers.
Chan, however, said that he has just one condition before implementing such a move, and that is for the return of their help desk at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
He explained that this is to ensure that tourists and travelers have religiously followed the city’s protocol in securing a health certificate, letter of acceptance, and letter of recognition before they will be allowed to enter the city.
Earlier, Chan wrote a letter to the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) board, appealing to reinstate their help desk in the airport.
He added that the city would just like to ensure that the passengers’ documents are genuine and not fake after their personnel has apprehended several passengers due to falsifying their documents.
“Kay mao to’y way nato nga atoang ma-check ang mga passengers, because what we need is the letter of acceptance. On that letter of acceptance, naa didto ang requirement nga medical certificate. So, if you are a tourist, mangayo lang ka ug online, online ra ang processing, dili ra hasol. So kato rang letter of acceptance, kato ra imo ipakita, ug ang booking sa hotel, so no need for RT-PCR test,” Chan said.
Chan said that the measure was done to avoid the entry of passengers who might have contracted the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Lawyer Glenn Napuli, OIC of the MCIA, said that the board is set to deliberate on the letter of the mayor on March 5, 2021.
Napuli, however, explained that other airports in the country are not implementing the help desk from LGUs, adding that airline companies are already checking those requirements that the mayor has mentioned.
“Ang restrictions nga gibutang sa kada LGU, like for example let’s say Lapu-Lapu, gi-implement nana sa airline. So if you check-in, kun mo-check-in ka sa Manila, ang taga airline now mo-check if you have complete documents. But inig abot diri, i-check na sab ka ug balik. So mao to naka-kuan ang board nga that would might be too much for the passengers ba,” Napuli said.
Aside from this, Napuli said that if they will grant the appeal of the mayor, other LGUs might also set up their own help desk in the airport which might result in a long line of passengers waiting to be verified before they will be granted entry to their destination.
“If we will allow Lapu-Lapu to put a help desk, we cannot refuse other LGUs to come in. So Lapu-Lapu na siya mag-una, but Mandaue, Cebu City will follow. How about Talisay, Naga, Toledo? tanan nalang,” he added. /rcg
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