By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz said Thursday that the provincial government will not impose restrictions on Bacolod City residents traveling within the province.
Diaz also said that the province remains free from the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Diaz’s reaction was sought by reporters after Bacolod was included among the 28 provinces and cities placed under Alert Level 3 effective today, Jan 14 until Jan 31.
Acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles disclosed Wednesday night that Bacolod’s status was elevated to Alert Level 3 two months after the IATF placed Region 6 under Alert Level 2.
The task force previously downgraded Bacolod to Alert Level 2 from Nov 15 until Nov 30, followed by an extension starting Dec 16 to 31 under Executive Order No. 60, Series of 2021.
According to Diaz, it is not necessary to further burden Bacoleños who want to travel within the province by requiring them to submit a negative RT-PCR test.
Diaz also said there is currently no travel restrictions as well with Negros Oriental as bus trips between the two provinces remain normal.
The only requirements for travelers from Negros Oriental are a COVID-19 vaccination card or certificate, a valid ID, and an S-PaSS registration.
However, he did affirm that since Cebu City had also been placed under Alert Level 3, travelers originating there and entering Negros Occidental are required to present a negative RT-PCR test regardless if they are vaccinated against COVID-19 or not.
The requirement is contained in the executive order released by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson for Alert Level 3 areas.
“Our concept is a bubble, ang aton ports and airports dapat bantayan,” Diaz added.
He also noted there have been a noted increase of COVID cases especially in major cities in the province.