BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Locally Stranded Individuals in Negros Occidental will be required to present a negative result of their RT-PCR tests, at least 72 hours prior to their arrival, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday.
The governor said that if the National Inter Agency Task Force will insist on implementing its approved resolution, which provides uniform travel protocols among local government units, then the provincial government will request for negative RT-PCR test results from the LSIs.
Lacson noted an upsurge in the number of Covid-19 cases in Negros Occidental, from 58 two weeks ago to 116 as of March 7, after LSIs from Cebu and Manila arrived in the province.
NIATF resolution 101 insists that there will be no more quarantine and RT-PCR testing upon return of LSIs at their respective LGUs.
Lacson said he will include in his executive order that LSIs will be required to present a RT-PCR negative result prior to their arrival.
On Feb. 28, the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) and the Regional Task Force (RTF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in Western Visayas passed a joint resolution “retaining status quo on the requirements of LGUs” on the arrival of LSIs.
It also enjoins “LGUs in Western Visayas to prepare for their full utilization of the Safe, Swift, and Smart Passage Travel and Mobility Management System (S-PaSS) and STAYSAFE.PH.”
For now, Lacson said he put on hold the issuance of an executive order requiring LSIs to present negative RT-PCR test results from their point of origin, because of the “status quo” on requirements for their arrivals.
The provincial government of Negros Occidental requires LSIs to undergo swab testing and quarantine, upon their arrival, either at the Bacolod-Silay airport, or any ports in the province.
“I hope they will allow us to continue your protocols,” Lacson said.
“Actually, NIATF resolution 101 will save us a lot of money, because I will require them (LSIs) to get their results in Manila, or where they came from, and they will have to pay for that,” he added.*