Bukidnon closes its borders

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 20 March) — The province of government of Bukidnon will no longer allow the entry of non-residents to the landlocked province effective 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, March 21.

Governor Jose Maria Zubiri signed the order Friday while on self-quarantine after his son, Senator Miguel Zubiri, tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

Zubiri said only Bukidnon residents would be allowed entry to the province while non-residents will be stopped at the seven major entry points of the province.

“Kini tungod sa kaayohan natong tanan (This is for the good of all of us),” Zubiri said.

Entering Bukidnon from Davao City, vehicles pass through a wheel bath at the Animal Qurantine Checkpoint in Lorega, Kitaotao, Bukidnon in this photo taken 10 February 2020. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Zubiri issued Executive Order 13 on Tuesday, placing Bukidnon under a “general community quarantine.”

Hansel Echavez, head of the Bukidnon Public affairs, Information and Assistance Office, said private and public utility vehicles that are not registered in Bukidnon would also not be allowed to enter.

Echavez said the seven entry points of the province are: Alae, Manolo Fortich; Lorega, Kitaotao; Baungon, Talakag, Kalilangan and Damulog towns.

“Those vehicles especially the buses will not be allowed to enter our province. The passengers will be asked to disembark,” he said.

Echavez said vehicles from the provincial government and towns will be on stand-by at these checkpoints ready to ferry the passengers to their destinations.

“If you are on board a private vehicle and your intention is to have a business meeting in Bukidnon, you will not be allowed entry too,” he said.

Echavez said commuters would be asked for government identification cards or proof of employment in Bukidnon before they are allowed to enter.

He said municipal health teams would be on hand to check the body temperature and travel history of  Bukidnon residents.

“Residents having 38 degree temperature or more would be immediately sent to the hospitals,” Echavez said.

Echavez said the strict quarantine measure will not include trucks ferrying food supplies, rice and agricultural products to and from the province.

He said drivers of the trucks who are not Bukidnon residents are exempted from the quarantine measures.

Echavez said also exempted are government and humanitarian workers who are involved in the COVID-19 work.

Also exempted are the Armed Forces of the Philippines; the Philippine National Police and officials and employees of Bukidnon’s local government units.  (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)