CAMOTES ISLAND, Cebu – Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia outrightly rejected the recommendation to be backed by stricter protocols for the returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Cebu.
Doctors from the Department of Health (DOH) recommended that Cebu require ROFs and OFWs to stay in a hotel upon arrival for at least six days before undergoing swab tests.
“It was not her cup of tea” to return the rigid protocol as Garcia wanted to recover the big chunk of losses Cebu suffered when the pandemic hit last year.
The governor issued Executive Order No. 9 last March to ease the rigorous health protocols for Cebu returnees, by allowing them to go immediately to their respective destinations if the tests yield negative results, instead of making them stay in a hotel for six days or more.
She cited that one of the doctors who suggested stricter protocol was even responsible for the renaming of the P.3 variant to the “Central Visayas variant.”
“Sometime in February I issued this call, don’t mess with us. We can take care of ourselves. I will never accept another lockdown,” Garcia said. She was also amazed at the new recommendation, when the cases in Cebu have been steadily going down as recorded in May 1 that Cebu had 661 active virus cases.
“I shall invoke and I am invoking Section 105 of Local Government Code. This is not to say that we will not listen to your recommendation but any imposition will have to be with concurrence of the province of Cebu,” Garcia said.