Capitol imposes requirements for inbound overseas passengers transiting Cebu
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) transiting Cebu on their way to their respective hometowns may be denied entry here.
This after Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Thursday, May 13, issued a memorandum laying down guidelines and rules for the arrival of OFWs and ROFs, who are non-Cebu residents.
“(This is) to effectively manage the arrival of Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFWs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), (and are) not from Cebu,” portions of the memo read.
The new directives, which take effect immediately, will require OFWs and ROFs transiting in Cebu to present the following requirements:
a. Letter of Acceptance from their Local Government Unit (LGU) of destination that should contain a commitment that they shall comply with the reasonable health protocols of said LGU of destination.
b. For ROFs, proof of their connecting flight from Cebu to their LGU of destination
c. OFWs need not present proof of their connecting flights as OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) shall arrange sweeper flights for their return to their LGU of destination.
“OFWs and ROFs without the aforementioned requirements shall not be allowed entry into Cebu,” the memo said.
These are on top of the existing swab-upon-arrival policy being implemented for transiting passengers from abroad.
“Upon release of a negative RT-PCR test result, said OFWs and ROFs shall stay in their hotel or in the designated holding area in the MCIA until their next flight despite having a negative RT-PCR test result,” the memo added.
The Capitol’s new orders were disclosed to the public at the same time Garcia, in a virtual briefer on Thursday, announced Cebu will temporarily stop accepting flights carrying Filipino passengers from abroad.
“And I wish to repeat that please, do not think I am discriminating against non-Cebuanos. Gobernador ko sa Cebu (I am the governor of Cebu), and my authority is over Cebu province. I don’t want to overstep protocols in other local governments,” Garcia said during the press conference.
From May 14 to May 15, MCIA will not accommodate international flights as quarantine hotels for incoming OFWs and ROFs here are nearing full capacity.
Cebu has 2,500 hotel rooms designated as holding areas for Filipino passengers from abroad with pending RT-PCR test results.
Incoming Filipino travelers from overseas will be swabbed for COVID-19 upon arrival but non-Cebu residents will have to complete a 10-day stay in designated hotels, even if they test negative of the infection.
They will also undergo another round of swab tests during the 7th day of their isolation.
For Cebu residents, they will only have to stay for a maximum of two days in isolation if they test negative of COVID-19 otherwise, they will be transported immediately to a facility for proper treatment. /rcg
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