Cebu to enforce ‘swab-upon-arrival’ policy at MCIA starting June 13

Published June 10, 2021, 4:15 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – Unless stopped by the court, Cebu is enforcing the “swab-upon-arrival” policy at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) starting June 13.

Cebu Provincial Board Member John Ismael Borgonia said the province is standing by Provincial Ordinance 2021-04 which means the swab-upon-arrival policy will be enforced when international flights bound for MCIA will no longer be directed to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Borgonia even challenged the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF) to take legal action seeking the declaration of the policy as “ultra vires” or beyond the authority of the provincial board.

Borgonia, which authored the ordinance, was present when Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia and other provincial board members met Wednesday after the diversion of international flights from Cebu to Manila was extended until June 12.

“If the IATF insists and they think we violated their policy, then they should file a case to declare our ordinance as ultra vires and of course we will be held administratively liable,” Borgonia said.

Borgonia added that the IATF should have filed a case against the provincial board “instead of making it hard for our Cebuano OFWs (Oversease Filipino Workers (OFWs) by diverting flights to Manila.” “They should go after us and not the OFWs,” he said.