BACOLOD CITY - Mayor Evelio Leonardia has appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to issue stricter health protocols when commercial flights and sea travel resume within this month.
In a letter to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, chairman of the IATF, and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, co-chairman of the IATF, Leonardia requested the task force to “issue a guideline that limits flights and ferry trips to a combined total of 600 passengers per week.”
Leonardia also asked the task force to instruct the airline and shipping companies to coordinate with the city government and secure their permission at least two days before any scheduled flight or ferry trip.
Leonardia said the resumption of commercial flights to Bacolod-Silay Airport after July 12 is a welcome development, as it will animate anew the economy of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.
He, however, noted that they foresee a surge of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), returning to the city, not to mention the other categories of travelers.
"If this is not controlled, this will affect the capacity of the city's quarantine facilities to accommodate them as we strictly implement our health protocols,” the local chief executive said.
Leonardia said that if the city’s request will be granted, it will enable them to determine if they will have available quarantine facilities for the returnees and prepare for their arrival.
“At least, by this scheme, what is not an easy job will become less difficult to manage,” he added.