Once again, it’s ‘swab-upon-arrival’ for OFWs, ROFs in Cebu

Published June 17, 2021, 4:54 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – Don’t look now but the province of Cebu is bent on continuing to implement the ordinance requiring the “swab-upon-arrival” policy for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) arriving at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

A day after the Department of Health-Central Visayas announced that it will obey President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to enforce the Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) guidelines at MCIA, the Provincial Board announced that it is supporting the position of the Gov. Gwen Garcia to implement the “swab-upon-arrival” policy.

“The ordinance is in full force and in effect. As far as the Province is concerned, it is the law of the Province and we will stand by it, and it will remain effective,” said Cebu Vice Governor Hilario Davide III .

Davide and all the 17 Provincial Board Members met with Governor Garcia on Thursday morning.

Davide said the only way that an ordinance will not be implemented is when it is repealed by the Provincial Board itself or a Court declares it as “ultra vires” and is violating the Constitution of a national law.

Under the Cebu policy, ROFs and OFWs will be swabbed upon arrival at MCIA and if tested negative, they will be allowed to continue with home quarantine and will be swabbed again on the seventh day.

Davide said the Provincial Board will invite the IATF and its experts to observe the policies in Cebu on June 28.

The Cebu policy was in contrast of the IATF policy that caused the diversion MCIA-bound international flight to Manila for about two weeks.