Antique guv caught between unified protocols and public welfare

Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao admitted she is caught between heeding the uniform protocols proposed by leaders in Western Visayas for returning travelers and considering the welfare of Antiqueños who want to go home.

In an interview with Radyo Pilipinas Iloilo on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, Cadiao said she is weighing the possible options in light of the proposed uniform requirements for all travelers to the region like securing a negative RT-PCR result.

According to Cadiao, she is considering the residents and displaced workers wanting to return to the province of Antique but are financially constrained to undergo RT-PCR tests.

“They are complaining wala ubra then mabayad pa kami swab. Ang akon, I am just weighing the options considering ang mga pumuluyo, those going home walang trabahowalang negosyo, then coming home, to them walang wala na gid sila, I took that in consideration,” she said.

For the past five months Cadiao said that the province of Antique has not required the mandatory RT-PCR requirement for returning residents recording about more than 35,000 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) who have returned to Antique.

Despite the huge number of LSIs, Cadiao said that the province only recorded a few Covid-19 cases.

“We have the most number of LSIs who returned to the province, about 35,000. Yet, we recorded few cases averaging about 2-3 cases daily. Gamay lang gid ya ang kaso diri sa Antique,” she futhered.

Cadiao added that the Antique province is also gearing its efforts towards reopening their economy. Hence, they are easing their travel protocols.

The local chief executives in Western Visayas have been eyeing to implement a uniform protocol of requiring a negative RT-PCR result for travelers returning in the region 72 hours before their arrival.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas who called for the implementation of the said protocol cited the increasing Covid-19 cases recorded in Metro Manila as his basis for pushing the mandatory requirement for travelers.

Nakit-an naton ang pagtaas kang kaso sa Metro Manila that is why we are implementing this synchronized protocol nga for two weeks or 14 days, we will require negative RT-PCR result for travelers arriving in the region,” he said in a previous interview.

The proposal however is not yet final as the leaders will first have to secure approval from the national inter-agency task force (NIATF).

Currently, Resolution 101 allows LGUs to require RT-PCRs for travelers except for APORs.

On the other hand, Cadiao said another meeting will be conducted by the governors and mayors in the region on Friday, March 19 to discuss the proposed uniform protocol.

The governor hopes that she can present her stand to the other leaders and that they will understand her point.

“I hope the mayors and other leaders will understand na amo ra stand naton na we have to open ang ekonomiya kag manubo man ang case so daad indi lang magrequire mandatory RT-PCR result sa Antique,” she noted.

Nevertheless, Cadiao assured that she will abide with the protocols once the matter has been decided by the leaders with finality.

“For the sake of unity and cooperation, kami masunod man kami ya. Ako masunod man ko, I just wanted to give Antiqueños a break, pagod na pagod na sila but I know I will be blamed for not following for one Panay and we don’t want that,” she furthered. (ERS)