By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Sunday said President Duterte has agreed to implement a temporary travel ban on travelers coming from any part of China and its Special Administrative Regions to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines.
Go said this is on top of the existing temporary travel ban imposed by the government on those coming from Hubei province and other affected areas.
“During my discussion with President Rodrigo Duterte last Saturday night on the government’s efforts to address the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease situation, I recommended to the President to implement a temporary travel ban on travelers coming from any part of China and its Special Administrative Regions, on top of the existing temporary travel ban imposed on those coming from Hubei province and other affected areas,” Go said in a statement.
“This is in line with the recommendations of the Department of Health (DOH) as affirmed by members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases,” he said.
“Taking into consideration the concerns raised by key government officials and health experts, the President made an informed decision and has agreed to adopt this recommendation and implement it immediately as additional precautionary measure to protect Filipinos and everyone in the Philippines.”
Go emphasized that the government is not singling out Chinese nationals. “This order covers all travelers from China to the Philippines, regardless of nationality. We empathize with China given what they are going through, but we are doing this to protect the country and its people.”
He also said the Philippine government is committed to help China and other affected countries address this worldwide health concern.
“I am urging the public to be informed and listen to our officials and health experts. Do not panic. Magtulungan tayo. Unahin natin ang kapakanan, interes, at kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino (Let’s help each other. Let’s prioritize the safety, interest, and health of each Filipino),” Go said.
“Para klaro po sa publiko, maglalabas ng mga detalye ang Office of the President para ipaliwanag ang sakop ng rekomendasyon na ito (To be clear to the public, the Office of the President will release details to explain the scope of this recommendation).”