Bacolod, NegOcc gov’ts’ spat over S-PaSS continues Gov. Lacson urges city officials to respect capitol’s protocols

Posted by watchmen
November 25, 2021
Posted in HEADLINE

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

The spat between the city government of Bacolod and the provincial government of Negros Occidental over the S-PaSS travel requirement widened yesterday after a new issue surfaced.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Executive Director Em Ang posted on social media an advisory allegedly coming from Philippine Airlines (PAL) instructing Bacolod City-bound passengers to use Barangay Airport, Silay City when applying for an S-PaSS.

“Really, [PAL]? Is this a joke?” Ang questioned.

She said instead of ridding some inconvenience, they are now instructing Bacolod residents to misdeclare their personal information in an official government platform

According to provincial administrator [Atty. Rayfrando Diaz], S-PaSS is used as a “primary contact tracing system,” she said.

“How is this new policy going to help if people fill in a fake address?” Ang questioned.

When Watchmen Daily Journal checked the official social media page of PAL, however, no such post related to the advisory for Bacolod City-bound travelers was found.

However, upon checking PAL’s COVID-19 Philippine Domestic Travel guide, the airline is indeed informing Bacolod City-bound travelers to use the Barangay Airport, Silay City address when applying for an S-PaSS.

Watchmen Daily Journal also tried to contact officials from PAL regarding the issue, however, they have yet to respond as of press time.

Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson forwarded an appeal to Bacolod City officials to respect the province’s decision to retain the S-PaSS requirement for travelers arriving at the Bacolod-Silay Airport.

Lacson again stressed that the city has no jurisdiction over the regulations being imposed at the airport, and is asking Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia to respect their decision.

Lacson pointed out that they themselves do not interfere with the protocols being set at the BREDCO and Banago ports since the seaports arrival protocols are handled by the city government.

Leonardia, on the other hand, has written a letter to the Department of the Interior and Local Government Region 6 director Juan Jovian Ingeniero asking for a clarification over the S-PaSS registration.

The mayor also pointed out that there is already a growing number of complaints from residents coming home to Bacolod City that they are unable to secure their plane reservations on time as airline companies are still requiring them to submit their S-PaSS as per directives from the provincial government.

He also pointed out the provincial government cannot claim to also impose its own executive order against Bacolod City-bound travelers as the Bacolod-Silay Airport is regulated by the national government.

Earlier this week, Lacson was adamant on retaining the S-PaSS requirement in order to maintain the province’s health protocols.

He pointed out the importance of the S-PaSS as airline companies would no longer validate or authenticate the vaccine card and certificates, or the traveler’s RT-PCR test result.

“The [airline companies] are appreciating that, it is easier for them,” Lacson said.

He further added the provincial government will only remove the travel requirement once the World Health Organization makes a declaration that the COVID-19 pandemic is over./DGB, WDJ

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