MisOcc stops bus, van entry from ECQ areas

By : Uriel Quilinguing Mindanao Today/08:31:11am 08/06/2021


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Trips of public utility buses and vans from Cagayan de Oro and Gingoog to Misamis Occidental province are temporarily suspended starting Wednesday, August 4, 2021, until the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) levels of these cities are lifted.

This was contained in Executive Order 82 issued by Gov. Philip Tan Monday, which prescribed a set of coronavirus safety protocol for travelers to the province, including those who are coming either by plane or boat via the air and seaports of Ozamiz City.

As this developed, the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) issued Thursday last week Resolution 130-A which placed Misamis Occidental under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) from Aug. 1 to 31 from its previous general community quarantine (GCQ) status.

The same MGCQ is in effect in Iligan City, Bukidnon, Camiguin, and Lanao del Norte provinces, and that “special attention” by the provincial governments and the RIATF/RTF is required, except that of Iligan.

Misamis Oriental is under general community quarantine (GCQ) for the entire August.

But Cagayan de Oro and Gingoog, both situated in Misamis Oriental, are still under ECQ status until August 7, 2021, “without prejudice to their reclassification as may be warranted and the declaration of localized ECQ in critical areas,” the NIATF Resolution states.

Both cities were placed under ECQ from July 15 to 31, this year, after cases of coronavirus delta variants were detected.

Meantime, Tan’s EO also sets limits to ferry operations that link Ozamiz to Mukas seaport in Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte across Panguil bay; only allowing on board cargo vans, delivery trucks, ambulances, red-plate vehicles, and those used by authorized persons outside residence (APORs).

Thus, all travelers who took public utility vehicles – buses, vans and taxis – from Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog and even Iligan wanting to go to Misamis Occidental through Ozamiz wharf have to get off at the Mukas passenger terminal.

But Aminoden Guro, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB-10), maintained that public transportation – buses and vans – from Cagayan de Oro and Gingoog should be allowed to cross Panguil Bay, carrying 50 percent of allowed passenger capacity to their destinations in Misamis Occidental.

“Public transportation is still allowed under ECQ, particularly APORs, health care workers, frontliners, and essential travelers,” Guro told the Mindanao Today Monday.

“I suggest that the provincial government set up border quarantine checkpoints and check the health condition of travelers,” he added.

The LTFRB-10 chief said reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction test results and vaccination records of public transport passengers can be checked at the provincial borders.

He said that the omnibus guidelines on the implementation of community quarantines, as amended on May 20, 2021, already allows movements of people, goods, and services between local governments of different community quarantine classifications.

Guro suggested that the Order must be referred to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases as well as to the Northern Mindanao Task Force on Covid-19 so that a joint resolution may be issued, preventing public transport going to Misamis Occidental.

Tan’s Order allows public transport only within the province, its municipalities and the cities of Oroquieta, Ozamiz, and Tangub, but stay-home for seniors and minors would strictly be enforced.

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