Bacolod EOC clashes with Capitol PA

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Due to differences in travel requirements between Bacolod City and the Capitol for arriving passengers at Bacolod-Silay Airport, some Bacolod-bound passengers cried foul after an airline disallowed them to board for their flight.

Former City Administrator Em Ang who volunteers as chair of the city’s Emergency Operations Center reiterated yesterday, November 22, that all fully vaccinated Bacolod-bound passengers are only required to present their vaccination card upon boarding and there’s no need to file for an S-Pass.

This according to her is stipulated under Executive Order No. 53 Series of 2021 signed by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and was communicated to the airlines.

But yesterday, Capitol through Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz underscored that all arriving passengers in Silay airport are compelled to present an approved S-PASS prior to boarding.

In a statement posted on Bacolod City Public Information Facebook page, the city attributed this conflicting travel directive as part of a power play and under-handed tactic employed by Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II.

Ang added that Diaz’s move is a clear disrespect of Executive Order 53 issued by Leonardia last Nov. 14 after the National Inter-Agency Task Force downgraded Bacolod’s alert status from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 2.

“Our EO 53 would not have been concurred by Regional IATF chief and Regional Director Jovian Ingeniero if it were not in conformity with the NIATF policy,” Ang pointed out.

The key here is respect, Ang stressed. But Capitol stood firm with its guidelines.

Diaz in a press conference explained that the EO of the province is in harmony with Resolution 101 of the NIATF which does not lift the use of S-PaSS.

He also re-emphasized that the Bacolod-Silay Airport is located in Silay City, which is one of the component cities of Negros Occidental. Thus, it is duty-bound to abide by the provincial directives.

Diaz said traveling without restrictions will create a false sense of security, which may compromise the safety of everyone.

He added that the current alert level of both the city and the province is temporary and may change anytime, depending on the number of new cases.

It is not wise for us to let our guard down and allow unimpeded travel without protocols, he stressed.

As of this writing, it is not known yet if Bacolod will comply with the guidelines set by Capitol.

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