Governor Arthur Yap on Thursday said that the provincial government is boosting the province’s quarantine capabilities and coming up with safety measures to better prepare for “Oplan Exodus” which would bring home Boholanos stranded in various localities at the “right time.”
Yap has yet to set a definite timeline on when Boholanos will be allowed to enter the province considering the continued spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID) 2019 in the country but assured that the plan is already in motion through preparations made with local government units.
“Ang Oplan Exodus usa ka pagpangandam. Dili pa nato sugdan ang pagpauli. Ang atong gisugdan mao ang pagpangandam,” Yap said in a press briefing at the Capitol.
“Sa akong gikaingon na naghimo na ta og mga pagpangandam gisugdan nato ang proseso aron maka andam ang mga LGU kung mo abot ang panahon na papaulion na sila dinhi sa saktong panahon,” he added.
The province is also setting out to comply with benchmark safeguards that health experts are prescribing in order to ensure the safe entry of Boholanos into the island.
According to Yap, local health experts have suggested that stringent measures must be followed in allowing the entry of Boholanos into the province including the implementation of rapid COVID 19 testing.
“According to our medical doctors and specialists here, they will not allow unless all of them are 100 percent subjected to a rapid test. If they are positive kinahanglan magpabilin sila didto. If negative, dawaton nato sila pero pag-abot nila diri kinahanglan PCR test and mandatory quarantine,” he said.
Yap noted that about 9,000 Boholanos have expressed interest to return to Bohol amid the growing COVID-19 threat outside of the province.
The governor clarified that Oplan Exodus is implemented in accordance with a national government initiative made through Resolution No. 18 of the national government’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging and Infectious Disease ordering the “unhampered transit” of overseas Filipino Workers to their ultimate destination in the country.
Yap also denounced those who bashed him online for the plan to bring home stranded Boholanos saying that they may not be having the same opinion on the initiative if they were the ones who were stuck outside of the province during the pandemic.
“If the situation was reversed right now, would you like it na pasagdan nalang mo, we will just leave you there outside…We cannot do that,” Yap said.
“It is in time of tragedy when our humanity is defined. Remember that we are only as strong as our weakest brothers and sisters. If there is weak brother and weak sister that we cannot assist and help when we can, then we are useless and we are worthless,” he added.
Meanwhile, Yap also assured that while preparations are still being done for Oplan Exodus, the provincial government continued to extend aid to Boholano students and displaced workers who are stranded in various localities.
The Capitol has spent about P2 million in cash aid for 1,000 individuals so far.
It was earlier noted that the provincial government established a 50-man team that is validating requests for assistance from stranded Boholanos.