The Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBBCI) opposes the planned travel restriction between Negros Occidental and Panay island as it will drastically impact the local economy.
MBBCI chair Frank Carbon said that the current business climate is already unfavorable to businesses with most shops closing faster than those that are reopening, and any plans to close the border of the 2 islands will deprived thousands of people of their source of income which can further hurt the businesses.
Carbon said while the resolution of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) for the 7-day suspension of travel between the Iloilo and Bacolod was already forwarded to the national IATF for action, the business sector was never consulted during the region meeting held last Saturday, May 15.
In a Facebook post Satuday, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said that the regional IATF approved the joint resolution with the Regional Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases recommending a 7-day travel moratorium between Negros and Panay for non-essential travelers and Authorized Persons Outside of Residence, except for those APORs in the health care sector, humanitarian workers and uniformed personnel.
The resolution was concurred by Negros Occidental and all other government agencies present at the meeting Saturday.
In a related development, Treñas said that with the sudden spike of COVID-19 cases in Iloilo City, he wrote a letter to the National IATF to request the metro to be under MECQ status until the 31st of May as they try to curb the transmission.