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Cebu retains swab-upon-arrival policy for OFWs despite Duterte’s order to follow IATF’s protocol

The Cebu government will retain its swab upon arrival policies for returning Overseas Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Cebu.

The decision comes after Malacanang said that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the province to adopt inter-agency task force protocols for arriving Filipinos.

This means that Cebu should impose the mandatory 14-day quarantine and testing on the seventh day.

However, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia held a meeting on Tuesday following recent pronouncements from the Palace.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of DOH-7, told reporters the province will continue to implement the swab-upon-arrival policy.

“I believe everybody knows already that the protocol will stand because of the ordinance, and DOH-7, together with other government agencies and concerned stakeholders, has to follow the ordinance of the local government,” Loreche said.

Loreche clarified that they are not defying the government’s orders.

“If you really look at it, hindi naman talaga tayo nag violate. It has always been in compliance with the IATF guidelines on testing protocols and quarantine,” Loreche explained.

“It’s just that we have to do some innovative changes, primarily because testing upon arrival is an enhancement of the security measures. Making sure that positive upon arrival, we’ll be able to extract them already, and we will not be allowing them to go around,” she added.

Staff Report

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