By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The provincial government of Negros Occidental has appealed to the Bacolod City government to adopt common protocols for returning residents.
Provincial administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, said the city has adopted different protocols compared to that of the province.
Diaz said while the residents are swabbed before departure from Manila, no control measures and no protocols are being observed once they arrive at the Bacolod-Silay Airport.
The provincial official said it is a cause of concern for them, pointing out they want to create a bubble in the province.
“How can we do that if one local government unit does not follow the same protocol?” Diaz questioned.
He further pointed out that if Bacolod City does not follow the same protocols, they will have a “gaping hole” in the middle of Negros.
Bacolod is a highly urbanized city that is not under the jurisdiction of the provincial government.
Meanwhile, the provincial government will continue testing all passengers for COVID-19 who are entering Negros Occidental by air and sea.
Diaz said he has talked with airline companies and asked them to operate daily flights into the province instead of their current twice a week schedule.
“If they can prove that their screening procedure in Manila is effective and no incoming passenger tests positive upon arrival in the next weeks, we will recommend the removal of the swab booths at the air and sea ports,” Diaz said.
However, as of the moment some of the passengers who have arrived in Negros are still testing positive for COVID-19 even though they have tested negative in Manila.
Diaz said they cannot let their guard down and they owe it to the Negrenses to keep the province safe./DGB, WDJ