Two Cebu towns back Capitol’s ROFs’ swabbing policy
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Two Cebu towns have issued support to the Provincial Capitol’s policy on Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF) to swab them upon arrival with a seven-day home quarantine after proving negative to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In separate resolutions, the Municipalities of Dumanjug and Ginatilan have expressed support to the Provincial Executive Order No. 17 of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and the subsequent Provincial Ordinance No. 2021-04 that allows the swabbing of ROFs upon arrival.
For both the towns, the policy is grounded in the Constitution and the law, and the ROF policy does not actually deviate from the national policy but improves it instead.
The Dumanjug Municipal Council said that under Section 105 of the Local Government Code, during an emergency, the Secretary of Health can only assume direct supervision over a local government unit (LGU) for a maximum period of six months.
Such direct supervision can only be extended with the concurrence of the LGU.
At this point, the country has been in a state of public emergency for over a year, and the six-month rule has long expired, and without the concurrence of the LGU, the Secretary of Health cannot presume direct supervision on local policies.
The Municipal Council believes that the policy of the Capitol is sound and practical.
Here is a copy of the Council Resolution of the Municipality of Dumanjug.
Similarly, the town of Ginatilan has also pointed out the same Section of the Local Government Code and also emphasized that each LGU is given the right to exercise power in their jurisdiction and implement policies for efficient and effective governance.
The Ginatilan Municipal Council said that they had residents who were ROFs, who were affected by the diversion of flight from the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
For the municipality, the current policies of the Provincial Government is most beneficial to their residents.
Here is a copy of the resolution passed by the Ginatilan Municipal Council.
The diversion of flights to NAIA will last until tomorrow, June 12, 2021, after it was extended by a week by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
The debate continues as to whether Cebu can have its own policy different from the national policy of swabbing ROFs.
Many national legislators have already signified support to Cebu’s policy as well including Senator Vicente Sotto III, Miguel Zubiri, Sonny Angara, among others.
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