The City Government has proposed to the implementing body of the National Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 a set of updated measures which will be more stringent on travellers entering Davao City to help control the spreading of COVID-19 in the city and the rest of Mindanao.
DAVAO CITY, July 15 (PIA) - The City Government of Davao City has proposed to the implementing body of the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) against COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) of the possible heightened measures in the way of screening travelers entering through land travel, sea travel and commercial flights, military flights, and flights catering to Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs).
The proposed added measures are due to the location of Davao City as one of the major travel hubs in Region XI. That is why the city government is ramping up its efforts by proposing measures to the NIATF against COVID-19.
In a letter dated July 14, 2020, that is addressed to the Chief Implementer of the NIATF against COVID-19 Carlito G. Galvez Jr., Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte proposed the following added measures to control the spread of COVID-19 in the Davao Region and the rest of Mindanao:
1. OFWs and LSIs must present a negative RT-PCR result taken within 48 hours of departure before boarding by land, sea or air;
2. Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) flights should be scheduled regularly so that receiving LGUs can properly plan for the pick-up of their residents. In this manner, no OFWs are left waiting for hours or even days for their pick-up;
3. In cases where the receiving LGUs are more than 5 hours away by land transport from Davao International Airport (DIA), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), or Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) should provide transportation to immediately ferry the passengers to their LGUs. This will ensure the acceptance of the returning residents as well as prevent them from being stranded in the DIA;
4. Regular commercial flight passengers to the Davao International Airport must present upon check-in at the airport of origin, a negative RT-PCR taken within 48 hours from departure date;
5. Discontinue carrying Davao Region LSIs in sweeper flights to other airports other than the Davao International Airport;
6. Philippine Air Force planes to Davao City must carry military personnel only and must temporarily stop from accommodating civilians unless it is an emergency;
7. All individuals exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should not be allowed to board any flight or vessel.
The proposed set of measures came about after the Davao City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) observed that from the period of July 5 to 13 of this year, 42 out of the 113 or 37% of the documented COVID-19 cases in Davao City were individuals who travelled from Manila.
The Davao City Mayor also expressed her shared sentiments towards expediting the successful return of both LSIs, and ROFs while also being able to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the city and the rest of Mindanao through the proposed measures.
"We hope that these measures may slow down the transmission of COVID-19 not only in the city but the rest of Mindanao without giving prejudice to the need for LSIs and OFWs to return home." Mayor Duterte said. (PIA XI/KPLCaro)