By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here is no longer issuing Certificates of Exemption (COEs) for the unhampered movement of delivery vehicles carrying cargo and essential supplies in Cebu effective June 24.
The DTI public advisory was in line with the efforts of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), now headed by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, to harmonize all policies, guidelines and protocols from the local government units (LGUs) in “reinstituting the strict controls of borders defined by the city of Mandaue in the north, city of Talisay in the south, municipality of Balamban in the west and municipality of Cordova in the island of Mactan” to prevent duplication of issuances.
All ECQ passes of cargo vehicles passing thru the municipalities and cities of Cebu province shall now be issued by the Cebu provincial government, the advisory stated.
Cimatu, with the provincial and LGUs, adopted the IATF COVID-19 approach of closing borders to prevent the virus from further spreading throughout Cebu, with the provincial government enforcing stricter border controls in major entry points into Cebu City and within the Cebu.
With the Cebu provincial government’s strict border controls, in line with IATF guidelines, it imposes upon itself the issuance of cargo passes. “DTI does not want to add chaos or duplicate the task,” according to DTI-7 Consumer Protection Division chief Ines Cajegas.