Western Visayas officials oppose resumption of commercial sea, air travel
BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – The 6 governors of Western Visayas and the two mayors of its highly-urbanized cities expressed their opposition to the resumption of commercial sea and air travel in the region this June.
The region will be placed under modified general community quarantine starting June 1.
The local officials appealed to the national governent's Inter-Agency Task Force on the coronavirus to allow only pre-arranged flights and accommodation for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and locally stranded residents, as well as inter-island sea vessels carrying these groups.
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the officials came up with this united stand during their teleconference on Thursday, May 28, organized by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, where they discussed the guidelines to be implemented when the new classification of community quarantine starts on June 1.
Joining the teleconference were Governors Eugenio Jose Lacson of Negros Occidental, Arthur Defensor Jr. of Iloilo, Rhodora Cadiao of Antique, Florencio Miraflores of Aklan, Esteban Contreras of Capiz, and Samuel Gumarin of Guimaras.
Leonardia said they also appealed to the IATF to request the agencies in charge of sending these OFWs and stranded residents to their respective provinces and cities to give the local government units enough time to prepare, with a gap of at least 3 days between arrivals.
The officials raised their concerns with Secretary Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, and Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, who represented Secretary Eduardo Año, during a teleconference on Friday, May 29.
As of Friday, the Philippines has 16,634 coronavirus cases, with 942 deaths and 3,720 recoveries. – Rappler.com