Mayor Evelio Leonardia said on Wednesday, Oct. 8, the resumption of leisure travel between Panay Island, particularly Iloilo City, and Bacolod City is being considered by the city government.

“We are seriously considering that because if the others are easing up, there is no sense for us here to be a separate island,” he said.

On July 18, Leonardia issued Executive Order (EO) 39-A indefinitely stopping the entry of leisure travelers from Panay Island as part of the border control measures against the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Delta variant.

Only authorized persons outside residence (APORs) are allowed to travel from Panay into or out of Bacolod while travel of non-APORs from modified enhanced community quarantine areas in Panay to Bacolod is not allowed.

Under EO 42, which took effect on August 1, arriving passengers from Panay, including APORs, are required to present a negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test result obtained within 72 hours before arrival in Bacolod, among the other usual travel documents being required.

Leonardia said the lifting of the leisure travel ban is being evaluated by the Emergency Operations Center-Task Force (EOC-TF) led by executive director Em Ang.

“I’ve discussed that with Em especially so in the light of RT-PCR test requirement…We cannot be an island. We have to consider what is happening and what the circumstances surrounding every place around us, our neighborhood,” he added.

Both cities of Bacolod and Iloilo are under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions until October 31.PNA