Iloilo, Bacolod officials agree to lift sea travel ban

ILOILO CITY—The local governments of Iloilo City and Bacolod City have lifted the sea travel ban between the two cities less than a day after it was first announced.

“Upon due consideration, the City of Iloilo hereby reconsiders its decision to ban the travel of passengers from Iloilo City to Bacolod and vice versa. We apologize to everyone for the inconvenience,” said Mayor Jerry Treñas in a statement Wednesday, July 22.

“We all agreed to reopen both our borders immediately,” echoed Mayor Evelio Leonardia of Bacolod City.

To recall, Treñas said Tuesday a travel ban was set in place to stop the entry of those coming from Bacolod City and the rest of Negros Occidental province due to rising number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. 

This also led Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. of Iloilo province to issue travel ban Tuesday at ports for incoming passengers from Negros Occidental province. 

Later that day, Leonardia reciprocated the pronouncements from Iloilo and closed Bacolod City’s borders.

But the Western Visayas regional offices of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) appealed to the local officials to reconsider.

By Wednesday, all three officials said that borders were going to reopen.