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BONTOC, Mountain Province – Inter-provincial travel among residents had gradually been allowed by the provincial government in close coordination with the receiving local governments to allow the safe revival of the heavily impacted economic activities of the people.
Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. stated that the gradual resumption of inter-municipal and inter-provincial travel among residents have been in conformity with the prevailing implementation of minimum public health standards to sustain the gains that had been achieved by the province and the municipalities in containing the rapid spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
He claimed that since the province and other neighboring provinces in the Cordillera and in Northern Luzon had been placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status for July, there is still a need to sustain the strict implementation of the basic health and safety protocols because of the threats of the more infectious COVID-19 variants such as the Delta and Lamda variants, to avoid the occurrence of untoward incidents that will trigger a surge in cases which will eventually compromise the local health care system and stress the frontliners.
Among the inter-provincial routes allowed to resume include the regular trips of buses to Manila, Baguio City, Tabuk City and other key cities in Northern and Central Luzon to allow people who comply with the stringent health protocols to move around to help in gradually allowing the economy to recover.
Lacwasan pointed out that there is a need to allow the revival of the local economy because the people are now feeling the serious negative effect of the pandemic after more than a year and a half of being placed under various levels of community quarantine to contain the spread of the virus in the country that nearly caused the virtual stoppage of operation of numerous businesses.
According to him, the decision to allow inter-provincial travel resulted from an extensive consultation with concerned stakeholders to ascertain their readiness in complying with the prescribed standards pursuant to the guidelines being enforced by concerned agencies so that the possible spread of the virus among the passengers will be prevented.
Lacwasan called on travelers to continuously comply with existing health and safety protocols to prevent the prevailing situation from being compromised and to allow the eventual full-scale resumption of mass public transport which has been the clamor of the people to allow them to move around and help in reviving the local economic activities beneficial in generating jobs and providing additional sources of livelihood for the people in the different municipalities.
Initially, inter-municipal travel from the different parts of the province were allowed to gradually resume in the previous months to ensure the regulated movement of people as part of the strategic efforts to allow the eventual resumption of the heavily impacted local economy.
Lacwasan emphasized that the provincial inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases will continue to monitor the compliance of public utility vehicles to the existing standards in their operations to avid the occurrence of unnecessary incidents that will cause the sudden stoppage of their operations so that there will be smooth transition towards the full blast operation of mass public transportation. By HENT