BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Local government chief executives in Western Visayas are lobbying with the Department of Interior and Local Government to require Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs) to also submit negative Covid-19 test results and registration with the S-Pass and StaySafe Phils app, upon arrival, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said yesterday.
Inbound travelers to Negros Occidental are mandated to comply with similar requirements, stipulated in the executive order issued by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, that also adopted the uniform health protocols for travelers of the National Inter Agency Task Force.
Diaz said there are many instances where APORs create panic in communities, where they are being spared from check up upon arrival, but later turned out to be positive for Covid-19, citing the case of an official of the Department of Interior and Local Government, who was already infected by the virus, when attended Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council meeting previously in Bacolod City, among others.
He also cited the case of Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, who attended an activity in Dumaguete City, with President Rodrigo Duterte, and unknown to him then, was already infected by the virus, and created a lot of problems.
“We are susceptible to being infected and capable of infecting others. So why should we treat you differently,” Diaz said, apparently referring to APORs.
APORs are being only to present travel orders and identifications during travel, Diaz said.
As of March 15, Negros Occidental had 171 Covid-19 active cases, with 120 Locally Stranded Individuals, and 30 APORs, among others.
Calatrava ranked first in having the most number of active cases with 22, followed by San Carlos City with 15, while Don Salvador Benedicto and Candoni have zero active cases, a report of the Provincial Incident Management Team said.
Diaz explained that many residents of Calatrava, San Carlos City, Toboso and Cadiz City, who are LSIs and came from Cebu, have been allowed to return homes, where they are now placed under isolation at the Cadiz District Hospital healing center.
During the recent meeting of governors and mayors of Region 6, Diaz disclosed that the situation in Manila, where the number of Covid 19 cases is rising, is now being closely monitored.
If the situation turns from bad to worse, Diaz said, “We might again stop travel from Manila to Bacolod”.*