Gwen to study options after diversion of flights extended until June 12

Published June 9, 2021, 7:15 AM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said the province will be studying what move to make after the diversion of international flights from to Cebu to Manila was extended until June 12.

The extension of the diversion was to prepare for the implementation of the national government’s testing and quarantine protocols for incoming passengers in the province, according to the memorandum issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

“We will study our position, as duly and elected and accountable officials of the Province of Cebu. We must all adhere to the rule of law,” Garcia said in a text message to reporters.

The issuance of the memorandum by the Malacañang came a day after the province decided not to implement the policy set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) arriving at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

In a press briefing Monday, Garcia said the decision to impose the Executive Order (EO) No. 17 that requires a “Swab Upon Arrival” came up after she met with officials of the Department of Health, Department of Tourism, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Bureau of Quarantine, MCIA, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation and Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC).

“They were all in agreement that, the provincial board ordinance is the recognized law of the land unless it is otherwise declared ultra vires by a proper court. So they all agreed they would have to follow the provincial board ordinance, because they do not want to break the law or violate the law, that is for Cebuanos,” Garcia said.

Under Garcia’s EO No. 17 supported by a provincial ordinance, OFWs and ROFs will be swabbed right away and will be able to return home if the test yields a negative result.

In contrast, the IATF policy requires arriving OFWs and ROFs to undergo a 14-day quarantine and the swab testing will be done on the seventh day while under isolation in quarantine hotels.