By Betheena Unite
Residents who are unable to go home to Antique since the implementation of enhanced community quarantine are now allowed to return. But they will have to undergo rapid testing for COVID-19 and mandatory quarantine upon entering the province.
Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao bared that the province has procured a total of 15 million rapid test kits intended for returning residents and overseas Filipino workers who were prevented from going home from Manila and neighboring provinces.
“Ang patakaran po namin niyan ma-isolate sila miske negative or positive at bago sila bumalik sa kanilang bahay ira-rapid testing ulit sila kung negative sila. Lahat po ‘yan inaasikaso namin para hindi mag-spread ang COVID (Our regulation is that whether or not their test results turned positive, they have to be isolated and will again be tested before going home. We are implementing this in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19),” Cadiao said during the Laging Handa press briefing.
According to the governor, 1,500 skilled laborers from Negros are expected to come home after being stranded for more than a month. Returning overseas Filipino workers, seafarers, and laborers coming from Manila, Iloilo, and Boracay can now go back to Antique.
The province has been carrying out its 15-day general community quarantine (GCQ). The relaxed quarantine, Cadiao said, would no longer prolong the agony of the workers and small businesses in their place. “Gusto naming ibalik yung konting pagkakakitaan ng aming mga kababayan na naglalako lang ng isda, gulay, salesboys, salesgirls, drivers, mga farmers na hindi mabenta ang kanilang mga produce (We want our fellowmen—the fisherfolks, vendors, salesmen, saleswoman, drivers and farmers who cannot sell their produce—to get back on their feet),” Cadiao said.
Residents were also encouraged to venture in small business as they shift into the “new normal.” “Kaya nung sinabi samin na puwede na kaming bumaba sa GCQ, we took up the challenge, sabi namin panahon na siguro para turuan na lang natin ang mga kababayan natin to start their own living, umpisahan nila yung maliliit na negosyo at the same time ‘wag mag-atubili na bantayan nang husto ang ating fight sa COVID (When we were downgraded to GCQ, we took up the challenge, maybe it’s high time we teach our citizens to start their own living, start putting up a small business at the same time intensify the fight against COVID-19),” the governor furthered.
While the province is slowly going back to normal, the governor noted that the implementation of preventive measures against COVID-19 will remain as if they are still under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“Kumbaga, binubuksan lang namin ang ekonomiya ng aming probinsiya para mabuhay naman ang maliliit naming trabahador but at the same time mahigpit pa rin ang implementasyon laban sa COVID. Ang pagbabantay ng COVID more or less parang enhanced community quarantine pero ang negosyo, ginawa naming general community quarantine (We opened the province’s businesses in order to help our workers earn a living but we will still make sure that there are strict implementations against COVID-19. It’s as if we are still under ECQ when it comes to containing the disease but we are under GCQ in opening up our businesses),” Cadiao noted.