Some experts and residents are concerned about the order saying that tourists entering Cebu province do not need to take a swab test, while there is still a threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and an increase in cases in the area.
According to the order issued by the provincial government of Cebu on Monday, a negative result in the swab test is no longer required but a medical certificate and pre-booking at the resort or hotel are required.
But OCTA Research, a group of researchers, stressed that the swab test is important in determining who has the disease.
“Para makita talaga ang tunay na situation in any area, in any lalawigan, kahit anong siyudad or probinsiya, kailangan talaga natin ang testing,” said Dr. Butch Ong, member of the group.
“We need to monitor kung sino talaga, kasi marami sa mga kababayan natin ay asymptomatic ano. So, iyong paglipat ng isang tao from area to another na asymptomatic could become a problem kapag mataas ang viral load ng traveler na iyon,” he added.
Some residents, such as Ana Plando, are also worried about guarding the sea at Alcoy Beach. According to Plando, they will not know immediately if the visitor is ill or not, so it is good to get the information of each visitor.
Some experts, residents worry about removal of swab test requirement in Cebu
According to Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, the easing of travel restrictions would boost tourism in the province since it has been affected by the pandemic.
The Cebu Association of Tour Guides welcomes the relaxation of tourism.
“For me, it’s like great news dahil more pa ang Filipinos na ang ma-eenganyo nga makakapunta ng Cebu,” said Grace Melendres, leader of the group.
The Department of Health-Central Visayas also supports the easing of tourism in Cebu.
“If this will be fully implemented with clear guidelines, including the monitoring for adherence to the public health measures, it could be considered,” said DOH – Central Visayas Spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche.