By Rey Anthony Chiu, PIA-Bohol | 01:05 PM March 07, 2021
As an aid in reviving the local economy, Bohol is now relaxing the protocols in the handling of cargoes by sea travel to and from Bohol, and now allows inter-island rolling cargo delivery truck drivers and crew and the personnel accompanying their cargoes for Bohol on simpler conditions.
Executive Order No 19, which Governor Arthur Yap signed March 5, 2021, drivers and personnel accompanying cargo delivery trucks and vans should obtain a Certificate of Confirmation and endorsement from the local government unit of arrival or ultimate destination for easier monitoring and must present a negative for Covid-19 test result by Reverse transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) taken at least 72 hours prior to their departure to Bohol.
This requirement, the executive order emphasizes, also hinges on their observance of the minimum health standards like physical distancing, wearing of face masks and face shields as well as constant washing of hands as disinfection.
As a backgrounder, it was in March 16, 2020 when Capitol issued Executive Order No 11 series of 2020 which provided the protocols in handling cargoes by sea travel to Bohol in connection with the implementation of EO No 8, series of 2020 which also declared 5-day preparation and institution of measures to address the ongoing threat of Covid going into Bohol.
Then, delivery truck drivers and at least 2 helpers can enter Bohol as long as they sufficiently satisfy the requirements following medical check which includes body temperature, no colds and cough or fever, complete the African Swine Fever quarantine protocols and vehicle disinfection, and a corresponding Office of the Provincial Veterinarian Certification.
They, according to EO 11 can not stray outside their route, following the closest travel distance available and they are not allowed to move away from their trucks.
But with the imminent threat of COVID troubling nearby Cebu, the governor issued Executive Order No. 11-A, which now bans drivers and their helpers from entering Bohol.
The order also mandates that consignees hire local drivers and helpers to claim their rolling cargo and deliver them to the consignees after the vehicles have been disinfected thoroughly against the ASF.
The local driver and helpers, after getting thoroughly checked, would be issued Philippine Ports Authority Certifications, which will allow the local driver to choose the shortest distance to take him and his helpers to the consignees, the helpers only allowed to disembark upon arrival at their delivery destination.
But, with the recent EO lifting the mandatory quarantine, travel authority and medical clearance certificate, the governor found it but supportive of the move to open up the economy if the movement of cargoes be restored.
As the restrictions for passengers were relaxed, there is a need to apply the same protocols equally to drivers and personnel for cargo deliveries to aid the revival of the economy, a year after Bohol closed its doors to curb COVID spread, Gov Yap said, defending the new measure. (rahchiu/PIA-7/Bohol)