BY JUDY F. PARTLOW
The municipality of Dauin in Negros Oriental has barred the entry of non-residents and tourists to the town, from Sept. 7-11, as it gears up for its annual fiesta on Sept. 10.
Councilor Michael Joseph Yap Araula, in an interview Wednesday, said this is to prevent the transmission of coronavirus disease and in accordance with the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the national, provincial, and local levels.
Araula, who chairs the Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industry, said in a meeting Tuesday with Mayor Galicano Truita and the local IATF, that they came up with a resolution to “lock down” or ban resort and tourism site visits for the period.
Dauin is a major tourist destination, known for its resorts and dive spots, especially the world-renowned Apo Island.
Among the prohibitions during the fiesta celebration are the sale and drinking of liquor in public places, as well as the suspension of the acceptance of locally-stranded individuals to avoid overcrowding in quarantine/isolation facilities.
Checkpoints will be established in strategic areas to ensure that non-residents will not enter the town on the specified dates, and credentials such as identification cards shall be required for those in transit to other towns for presentation to authorities manning the control points, he said.
Araula said residents are allowed to prepare food for the fiesta but only for the family or a limited number of guests, provided health protocols are followed, such as wearing of masks and physical distancing.
“I am appealing to all to observe self-discipline and if possible to not visit Dauin to prevent disorder,” he said.
“As for churchgoers, they are allowed to attend masses but only for residents who are asked to observe the protocols imposed by the parish,” he added.*JFP/PNA