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LGUs oppose reopening of Negros borders – guv

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Local chief executives are against a proposal to reopen the borders of Negros Occidental and Oriental, following the rising number in active coronavirus cases in the two provinces.

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday that the 31 mayors of the province want to a keep the status quo on the closure of borders of the two provinces, noting that Negros Oriental has more active cases.

While Gov. Roel Degamo wants to open the borders of Negros Oriental and Occidental with strict health protocols implemented, such as placing in quarantine those who may enter the province, some Negros Oriental mayors are not for it, including that of Dumaguete City, where cases are rising because of community transmission.

Negros Oriental Capitol spokesman Bimbo Miraflor admitted that health professionals are also wary of reopening the borders, while the business sector is very much into it.

Miraflor said that a meeting between the two Inter Agency Task Forces of Negros Occidental and Oriental will be held today in Mabinay, to come up with protocols and procedures that could be applied, if the borders will be opened.

But Lacson said they will not attend the meeting, and he will only inform them that Negros Occidental mayors would like to keep the status quo.

Negros Oriental had 217 active cases, compared to 104 in Negros Occidental, as of Jan. 12.

Lacson attributed the recent increase in active cases in Negros Occidental to the holiday celebrations. Meanwhile, the Negros Oriental IATF has approved and adopted the request of Vallacar Transit Inc. to allow the entry of buses from Cebu to Negros Oriental, provided that the company follows health protocols strictly.*

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