By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – The local chief executives of Iloilo City and Bacolod City agreed on Monday night to allow the resumption of sea trips between the two cities starting June 16.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said that, during his phone conversation with Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, both of them agreed to a free flow of sea travel between Bacolod and Iloilo cities.
He, however, said that travelers from Manila and Cebu going to Bacolod via Iloilo City and vice-versa will not be covered by their agreement.
Leonardia issued Executive Order No. 43 on June 15, 2020, extending the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) here from June 16 to 30, pursuant to the recent pronouncement of the national Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) that all provinces and highly urbanized cities in Western Visayas will remain under MGCQ over the said period.
Leonardia said that he and Trenas came up with this decision since both cities were under the same category of community quarantine.
However, travelers aged below 21 years old, and 60 years old and above, and persons with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks, pregnant women, and any person who resides with the mentioned individuals will not be encouraged to travel or be out of their residences, except when indispensable under the circumstances for obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices, Leonardia cited in the order.
Leonardia said that he already informed the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) about the agreement. The Marina will facilitate the travel arrangement, he added.
He said that health protocols will be observed such as the use of thermal scanners, wearing of face masks, and social distancing measures.
He said that they will be drafting a joint declaration to clearly define the parameters of the arrangement.
The sea trips between the two cities were temporarily halted for almost three months now due to the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).