Baguio, Benguet officials agree on 9 days border restriction

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The city government of Baguio will proceed with the implementation of its border control policy beginning November 26 until Dec. 4, 2020.

In the just concluded close-door meeting of the BLISTT mayors at the Baguio Convention Center on November 25, the mayors raised their constituents issues and concerns about the border policy to Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

It was agreed that there will be adjustments in the documentary requirements from residents of La Trinidad, Tublay, Tuba, and Sablan. Among these are:

1) Medical clearance (instead of medical certificate) issued either by a government or private physician would suffice;

2) Medical clearances are effective for the duration of the border control policy. There is no need to obtain a new clearance after five days as required in the city’s earlier advisory.

The Benguet mayors appealed to their constituents to stop the bashing for they agree that the temporary restricted access is for the mutual benefit of BLISTT residents.

The intention of the move that sparked an outcry from the Benguet townsfolk was fully ventilated and later accepted by Mayors Romeo Salda of La Trinidad, Manuel Munar Jr. of Sablan, Clarita Sal-ongan of Tuba and Armando Lauro of Tublay paving the way for a unified decision to maintain the imposition of border requirements for LISTT residents in going to Baguio until Dec. 4 while the towns are fine tuning their COVID-19 control strategies.

Parties admitted to lapses in communication, coordination and cascading, exchanged apologies and pledged to better their ways and work for a more united BLISTT.

The mayors hoped that with the reconciliation, the hate engendered by the issue would die down and that BLISTT residents would resume working together in solidarity to pursue the economic cluster’s common goals and aspirations.

Magalong said they resolved to settle their differences and to regard the misunderstanding caused by the issue as a “lesson learned” so that henceforth local policies of such impact will be extensively discussed and decided on collectively by the local chief executives themselves.

The meeting was attended by National Economic Development Authority Cordillera Regional Director and Regional Development Council Vice Chair Milagros Rimando and key personnel from the LGUs. – Aileen Refuerzo and Jessa Samidan