By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson is set to issue an executive order (EO) introducing uniform travel protocols for the province in response to Resolution No. 101 issued by the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF).
Provincial administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, said starting Monday, March 15, all travelers are required to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results 72-hours prior to travel.
Travelers are also required to present “S-Pass” approval, and “StaySafe” registration.
“If you don’t have the requirements, you will not be allowed to board the ship, or you will not be allowed to board your flight,” Diaz said.
He further explained the “S-Pass” registration will be used for contact tracing, as it would include details such as the name of the traveler, the seat or room he or she is assigned, and his or her final destination.
“For example, when we receive the traveler’s details wherein his or her final destination is Bago City, we will inform the Bago City government of the traveler’s arrival,” Diaz explained.
The “S-Pass” system will be maintained under the Provincial Incident Management Team.
“There will no longer be any documentary requirements, except for notice of acceptance or certification of acceptance,” Diaz added.
He further clarified that the new uniform travel protocol does not cover people traveling within Western Visayas only.
“Those traveling to Region 7, including Negros Oriental, will now be allowed to enter, but they are required to show a negative RT-PCR test result,” Diaz said.
Earlier this month, Lacson commented on the NIATF’s protocols as “somewhat contradictory” and he wanted to maintain the province’s own protocols by testing and quarantining travelers when they arrive in Negros Occidental.
Under NIATF Resolution No. 101, travelers will no longer be compelled to go on quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms upon arriving at their destination.
Travelers are also no longer required to secure travel authorities, or health certificates.
Authorized persons outside of residence from national government agencies and their attached agencies, on the other hand, must provide their identification card, travel order, and travel itinerary.
They must likewise pass symptom-screening at the ports of entry and exit./DGB, WDJ