OVERSEAS Filipino workers (OFW) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROF) who are not Cebuanos will be barred from entering Cebu Province for 12 days until Jan. 3, 2022.
The prohibition is contained in Executive Order (EO) 49 issued by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in light of the blackout and fuel and water shortages prevailing in Cebu after Typhoon Odette (Rai) toppled electric poles last Dec. 16, as well as the impending closure of some quarantine hotels to repair typhoon damage.
“Effective Dec. 23, 2021 to Jan. 3, 2022, only Cebuano OFWs or ROFs shall be allowed entry into Cebu,” the EO states.
On check-in, Cebuano OFWs must present a valid identification card and a declaration form reflecting their home address in Cebu, while Cebuano ROFs must show “proof of their pre-booking at an accredited hotel in Cebu for, utmost, two days,” the EO says.
EO 49 also bars persons “originating from a foreign country” from entering the Province of Cebu on Dec. 21 and Dec. 22, 2021.
Citing the scarcity of fuel and other resources, the governor said hotels could no longer accept the “substantial number of OFWs and ROFs arriving in Cebu on a daily basis” as locals are also now checking into hotels amid the electricity and water supply problems caused by Odette.
Residents, business establishments and vital institutions have been using fuel-powered generating sets to power their offices, homes and operations, creating long lines at gas stations, after Odette’s 175 kilometer-per-hour winds and gusts of up to 240 kph knocked out power in Cebu.
Cebu hotels will now house only arriving Cebuano OFWs and ROFs from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3 next year.
“Arriving OFWs and ROFs who are not residents from Cebu should land at Manila Airport and Clark Airport,” Sugbo News, the
official news platform of the Cebu Provincial Government, said.
Garcia issued EO 49 after meeting with officials from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa), Department of Health, Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), Department of Tourism, airline operators and the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu Monday.
Sugbo News said the around 3,000 non-Cebuano OFWs and ROFs currently housed in Cebu hotels would be “flown out through sweeper flights once BOQ 7 issues a clearance.”
As for the arriving Cebuano OFWs and ROFs, EO 49 says they shall be swabbed on arrival in Cebu, billeted at a quarantine hotel and, on release of a negative RT-PCR test result, allowed to depart for their residences in Cebu, where they shall undergo home quarantine.
Their fifth day swab shall be conducted by the receiving local government unit.
Last Dec. 17, Garcia declared a state of calamity in Cebu Province due to the extent of the damage caused by Odette. / CTL