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Davao City, Philippines

Davao Oriental to open borders starting June 1

May 28, 2020 - Thursday 6:05 PM by Ruth Palo

Article Banner Image FREE RIDE. Davao Oriental-bound buses line up at the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal. The free bus ride was provided by the City Government of Davao to transport individuals in the city who had been stranded due to the COVID-19 lockdown to their provincial hometowns in Mindanao. ARJOY M. CENIZA

DAVAO CITY -- The provincial government of Davao Oriental will begin allowing the entry of all public and private transportation from all areas in Davao Region under general community quarantine (GCQ), including Davao City, beginning June 1, 2020.

The decision was made at a meeting on Tuesday with Governor Nelson Dayanghirang and the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) of the ten municipalities of the province as well as Mati City who have agreed to implement policies and measures amid the impending opening of the provincial borders.

Under the Omnibus Guidelines for GCQ issued by the national government through Inter- Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease, the interzonal movement of persons between areas placed under GCQ for any purpose other than leisure is permitted.

Mayor Sara Duterte had earlier scored the local government units (LGUs) of Davao Region for barring residents of Davao City from entering or passing through their areas.

In a statement, Dayanghirang said he is thankful to the Davao Regional Task Force on COVID-19 headed by Mayor Sara who he said agreed with the governors of Davao Region to provide enough time to the local government units to set up screening protocols and deploy the required personnel.

“We need to follow what is mandated under the law. We will not impede the movement of people coming in and out of our province. However, we also have to set up screening protocols in order to protect our people,” Dayanghirang said.

He said necessary planning must be made as the province “cannot afford to do haphazard preparations amidst the massive exodus of people who are expected to come in to the province.”

Most of these are returning Davao Oriental residents who are stranded in Davao City.

Based on the Executive Order number 25 issued by Dayanghirang on Wednesday, the province will implement strengthened and stricter health screening measures at all provincial border entry points as well as terminals.

Dayanghirang appealed to the public to take extra precaution, saying they should travel only for essential purposes.

“The effort to prevent the spread of the virus does not lie solely upon the government but is a shared responsibility of everyone in the community,” he said.