BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A moratorium on the travel of persons from Negros Island to Iloilo City, and vice-versa, takes effect May 25, following an executive order issued by Iloilo Mayor Jerry Treñas placing Iloilo City under a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine status.
The issuance of the EO came after the Inter-Agency Task Force elevated the quarantine status of Iloilo City, Apayao, Benguet, and Cagayan to MECQ, effective today until May 31.
Capt. Ludovico Librilla, Coast Guard-Negros Occidental chief, said yesterday that they have yet to receive an order from the Coast Guard-Western Visayas District to halt trips between Iloilo City and Bacolod City.
Librilla said in a statement that they will issue an advisory once an order to cancel all trips between Negros and Iloilo is released.
But Frank Carbon, operations and financial consultant of Weesam Express, said that trips of fastcraft and RoRo vessels will continue, adding that they have not received any order from the IATF to stop sea travel.
NO STOPPAGE ORDER
The NIATF and PCG have not issued any temporary stoppage order, Carbon said, adding that an advisory will be issued should there be a stoppage order from PCG.
Treñas clarified that the travel moratorium will not hamper the delivery of essential goods between Iloilo City and Negros.
The NIATF Resolution No. 116-C, series of 2021, dated May 22, was approved by Health Secretary Francisco Doque, who is the IATF chairperson, and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
It said that the risk-level classification of those provinces and the highly-urbanized city of Iloilo shall be without prejudices to their further reclassification, as may be warranted, and the declaration of localized Enhanced Community Quarantine in critical areas.
Treñas had requested the escalation of quarantine restrictions due to the surge in Covid active cases.
Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor also issued an executive order suspending the operations of tourism, recreation, and accommodation establishments, from May 22 until the end of this month, to arrest the surge of Covid-19 cases in the province.*