Gov’t urged to rethink domestic travel protocols amid rise in COVID-19 cases outside Metro Manila

Published May 30, 2021, 3:29 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

A member of the OCTA Research Group has urged the government to make adjustments on protocols for domestic travel as provinces outside Metro Manila experience an increase in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.


OCTA Research fellow Ranjit Rye said mobility is among the reasons that drive the increase in cases in areas outside the National Capital Region (NCR). It is the mobility of people that could possibly carry the virus to the provinces, he said.

“The national government really has to rethink our domestic travel protocols. We really need to make them stricter,” OCTA Research fellow Ranjit Rye said in an interview over CNN Philippines on Saturday, May 29.

“Right now we’re not yet out of the woods. We’re just healing in the National Capital Region,” he added.

Rye said OCTA observed an uptick in new cases particularly in the Cagayan Valley, Zamboanga area, Davao Region, and some areas in the Visayas which contributed to the rise in reported daily cases nationwide in recent days.

He particularly expressed concern over the situation in Davao which is now “in the midst of an impending surge.”

The expert warned that if cases continue to rise, the healthcare system in these areas will be overwhelmed, similar to what transpired during a recent surge experienced in Metro Manila and its adjacent provinces.

“So kailangan yung mga regions (the regions) should learn from all these experiences na dapat talaga the quarantine [protocols] must be set,” Rye said.

While the trend of infection in Metro Manila is declining, OCTA urged the government to maintain the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions in the NCR-plus for the month of June.

“We might need to recalibrate and be a little more liberal for certain businesses but by large, and the rest of the country has towe have to heighten the initiatives towards test, trace, isolate, and treat,” Rye said.

Likewise, the independent research group called on the government to provide additional manpower and resources in areas with a spike in cases.

“Kailangan talaga paigtingin ang test, trace, and isolate sa mga lugar na iyan (Efforts to test, trace, and isolate in those areas really need to be intensified),” Rye said.

“Let’s hope that they will do more preventive measures to prevent this from happening,” he added.