Iloilo province ready to comply with less strict travel protocols

READY TO IMPLEMENT. Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr says he is ready with an Executive Order for the implementation of less strict travel protocols in compliance with IATF Resolution 101. He met with mayors of the province on Friday afternoon (March 12, 2021) to confer with them before signing the order. (PNA file photo)

ILOILO CITY – The provincial government here is ready to implement a more relaxed travel restrictions in compliance with Resolution 101 of the national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr., in a press conference on Friday afternoon, however, said he just met with mayors of the province’s component city and municipalities, which was a follow-up of their meeting last week.

As discussed during the initial talks, he said it is important for the mayors to be given leeway to implement the protocols depending on their circumstances.

The governor added that it is good that the mayors are strict.

“That is one of the advantages if mayors are strict with protocols. We don’t want to lose that. We don’t want that to be compromised,” he said.

Also, during a meeting with the regional IATF, he requested that the new protocol be implemented starting March 15 because there have to be preparations at the airport.

“You have to put up a facility there to check incoming passengers,” he said. Since it is a big airport, he said it takes a lot of logistics and personnel to be able to check incoming passengers.

He also asked the regional task force to consult with the national IATF since, after the issuance of Resolution 101, Covid-19 cases have increased in Metro Manila, almost similar to the August to October 2020 level.

Defensor said the province is ready to comply but will wait for the result of the consultation if Iloilo will have to open economic activities and relax travel restrictions given the existing situation.

“We are preparing for that but the readiness will depend on the country’s Covid-19 situation,” he said.

Meantime, in his prepared Executive Order, he said that travelers have variations to include whether they are returning resident, non-residents, or overseas Filipino workers.

“If you want an effective travel protocol, you have to differentiate,” he said. (PNA)

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