CEBU CITY – Rather than talking about border controls and lockdowns, the province would prefer to focus on its recovery efforts.
This is the stand of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia after the province was placed by Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) under Alert Level 3 from January 16-31.
“So, in so far as, whatever restrictions there may be under Alert Level 3, vis a vis what we need to do in our efforts at recovering, rehabilitating, and moving forward, then I shall have to take, give priority to Cebu first,” Garcia told reporters on Saturday, Jan 15.
The governor said the province cannot even issue a “stay at home” order because of the devastation of Typhoon Odette.
“Certainly, we cannot say to everyone to stay at home because 90,000 families do not have homes,” Garcia said.
Garcia said the restrictions imposed in other areas due to the increase of COVID-19 cases may not be applicable in Cebu.
“An across the board alert level 3 imposition cannot be done in so far as Cebu is concerned because while other areas like NCR (National Capital Region), other provinces, other cities, have had a very nice Christmas and a sparkling celebration of New Year, we had the visit and devastation of typhoon Odette,” Garcia said.
Garcia said the mayors of the tri-cities Michael Rama (Cebu City), Jonas Cortes (Mandaue) and Junard “Ahong”Chan (Lapu-Lapu) have all agreed to impose a “one island policy” when it comes to COVID-19 response.
“I talked earlier this morning with Mayor Mike Rama and we are hoping to meet at our earliest convenient schedules together with Sec. Mike (Dino) in order to agree on such issues as border control, the vaccinated and unvaccinated,” said Garcia.
“You see, with all due respect to the IATF, it is us elected leaders who are here on the ground who really know what the situation is,” the governor added.