Palace steps foot down; says Cebu must follow IATF protocols on arriving passengers

By: Daphne Galvez - Inquirer.net | June 14,2021 - 04:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday ordered Cebu province to stand down and abide by health protocols set by the government’s pandemic task force, particularly on the testing of arriving passengers from abroad.

Cebu province must abide by health protocols set by the government’s pandemic task force, particularly on the testing of arriving passengers from abroad, Malacañang said Monday.

“The President has decided that IATF protocols must be implemented by the Cebu province. The President has also considered the DOH critique and has decided that Cebu province must abide by the IATF arrival protocols,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said, quoting a message from the Executive Secretary.

The Cebu provincial government earlier decided to test all Filipinos from abroad upon arrival at the airport, contrary to the protocol set by officials of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases who said testing should be done seven days after their return.

After this, Malacañang ordered that all international flights bound for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to be diverted to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) from May 29 to June 5.

This directive has been extended until June 12.

Roque said the extension was “just a preparation for full implementation” of the President’s decision.

Based on Cebu province governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s executive order, Filipinos from abroad arriving at MCIA will undergo swab testing upon their arrival and will wait for its result in a quarantine hotel for two to three days.

Those who test positive will be transported to isolation facilities.

If the result comes out negative, returning Filipino travelers from abroad who are not from Cebu will be allowed to proceed to their destination to follow the protocols of their respective local government units.

On the other hand, those from Cebu province will be allowed to go home to continue to be quarantined. They will undergo another swab test on the seventh day.

Garcia has met with President Rodrigo Duterte to clear things out regarding her province’s protocols for incoming passengers from abroad.

EDV

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TAGS: arriving passengers, Cebu‬, dow, foot, IATF protocols, Palace, STEPS

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