HEALTH PROTOCOLS. The Leyte Provincial Capitol in Tacloban City. The Provincial Board is pushing for the approval of an ordinance requiring all arriving Leyte residents to submit themselves to the province’s health protocols, Vice Governor Carlo Loreto said on Friday (May 22, 2020). (PNA file photo)

TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte’s Provincial Board is pushing for the approval of an ordinance requiring all arriving Leyte residents to submit themselves to the province’s health protocols.

Leyte Vice Governor Carlo Loreto said the ordinance, which was passed on the third and final reading, seeks to protect the province from the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“The purpose of this is to protect the people of Leyte. If a returning resident is not sick or not infected, he or she still needs to comply with the requirements, inform their local health authorities about their recent travel history, and undergo testing,” Loreto said in a phone interview on Friday.

The provincial board is eyeing to pass the ordinance early next week.

Those who will not comply with the ordinance will be arrested and face charges.

The ordinance applies to all returning residents and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will arrive within the community quarantine period and 30 days after the lifting of movement restrictions.

The health protocols are included in Executive Order 2020-02 issued by Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla on May 15.

The provincial social welfare and development office (PSWDO), as the focal office of the program, is tasked to coordinate with the local government the date and time of arrival of returning residents in Leyte.

For OFWs, they should first communicate to the provincial government their intent to return.

“Before their travel to the province, the local government where they reside must issue an acceptance certificate. They should undergo a test with (the) result to be presented upon their arrival in the province,” Loreto said.

Returning residents will be received in an area designated by the PSWDO in coordination with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office for the checking of their required travel and health documents.

After checking and verifying their documents, they will be transported immediately using the vehicle provided by the local government to an isolation facility.

Well-wishers will not be allowed in the arrival area.

All of them will undergo the rapid test and swab sample gathering by the medical personnel of the provincial or district hospital and will remain there while waiting for the result of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

If the PCR test result turns negative, the local government has the discretion to advise them to join their family.

If the result turns positive, they should be admitted, monitored, and treated at the respective isolation unit of the town or city.

For those relocating to their home province under the “Balik Probinsya” program, they must be duly registered at the appropriate government agencies in their place of origin and their name should be communicated to the provincial government.

The province will relay the information to the concerned local government for the issuance of an acceptance certificate.

The beneficiaries must undergo rapid or PCR tests in their place of origin and they must not leave the place where they are housed until their date of travel to the province.

Upon their arrival, they must present the acceptance certificate from their respective local government and the result of the test at the designated arrival area in the province.

The returning Leyte resident will be immediately transported using the vehicle provided by the municipality or city concerned to the respective isolation facilities where they will undergo swab sample gathering and will remain there until the result arrives.

The Provincial Board has also approved in first reading the “Balik Probinsya” Ordinance of Leyte, which seeks to establish committees that will handle the coordination of challenges that the program would face. (PNA)