The Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases has suggested to designate Bohol as an alternative quarantine destination for returning overseas Filipinos (ROF) and overseas Filipino workers (OFW) amid the reported congestion of isolation facilities in Metro Cebu.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Anthony Damalerio on Wednesday said they are already awaiting a formal letter from the RIATF to Governor Arthur Yap requesting for the approval to divert at least one flight per day to the Bohol Panglao International Airport (BPIA).
“As to the letter request from the RIATF addressed to governor, sa akong knowledge wala pa ta maka receive, ato na pud ng gi follow up sa OCD [Office of the Civil Defense] 7,” Damalerio said.
According to Damalerio, the measure is still being deliberated by various agencies in Cebu including the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Department of Transportation (DOTr) and airline representatives.
Damalerio said that the move would both help decongest quarantine facilities in Metro Cebu and generate business for resorts and hotels in Panglao which have been heavily hit by the nationwide tourism slump.
“Dako g’yud ni na tabang. Gi-welcome g’yud ni sa atong tourism industry players sa Panglao,” he said.
There are around 2,000 rooms in 35 accredited quarantine hotels in Cebu and many of these are already full.
Damalerio said that the number of ROF and OFW arrivals in Cebu has been noted be around “250 to 300” daily.
All arriving OFWs and ROFs at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
OFWs and ROFs will be subjected to testing upon arrival and on the seventh day of quarantine courtesy of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Department of Health, respectively.
If both tests yield negative results, the person is allowed go out of quarantine but is still required to complete the 14 day quarantine at their final places of destination.
“They are subject to quarantinme protocols na tiwason gihapon ang lacking number of days para makumpleto ang 14 days sa receiving LGU na,” Damalerio said.
Meanwhile, payment for the hotel quarantine will reportedly be shouldered by the OFW or ROF.
Stringent quarantine measures for ROFs and OFWs were implemented through national IATF Resolution 114 following the reported spread of coronavirus variants in the country. (R. Tutas)