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Meeting with Tabuelan Rural Health Unit and Vice-Mayor staff on the Development of Health Declaration Tool and Database of Sea Passengers

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A meeting with the public health nurse of Tabuelan, Ms. Gerra Lahaylahay, the vice-mayor office staff Vincent Comeros and Philippine National Police officer Wilfredo Bunado, was held on November 13, 2020 at the Tabuelan Public Market after the turnover ceremony for the handwashing facilities.

The meeting was called to discuss about the development of a health declaration tool and database for sea passengers in Tabuelan Port.

The VPHCS team included Dr. Erlinda Posadas and Crescenciana Labitad.

Dr. Posadas presented the agenda, introducing briefly about the project and that one of its activities is to develop a health declaration tool and database for sea passengers. She inquired about the present protocols and situation existing in the port.

Tabuelan accepts passengers and cargoes from Escalante, Negros Occidental and vice-versa. A passenger going home to Escalante will have to coordinate with the Cebu local government unit concerned, and comply with the following requirements, namely: medical certificate, barangay certificate, travel pass from the PNP, acceptance from the municipality or barangay in Negros, and medical certificate from a doctor in Cebu stating that he is not a person under investigation of person under monitoring. These protocols were implemented when the lockdown started in March 2020 until the present.

Passengers coming from Escalante who are going to stay in Tabuelan need to present only a latest medical certificate and a swab test result that he is negative for COVID-19. The passenger also needs to be home quarantined for 14 days upon arrival in Tabuelan, with the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) of his barangay monitoring him for symptoms.

All passengers bound for Escalante will be fetched by buses from Escalante in Tabuelan, so that the LGU in Escalante can strictly monitor the whereabouts of these passengers when they arrive in Escalante. This means, that nobody from Tabuelan can travel to Escalante without riding in the buses from Escalante intended to bring them there.

There was one time when 300 LSIs going to Escalante and departing from Tabuelan were fetched by many vans which arrived from Escalante, and all had the swab tests after which they were quarantined for 14 days.

Ms. Lahaylahay and Mr. Comeros both said that there was no need to have a health declaration tool for arriving passengers since a medical certificate issued by a doctor in Escalante would suffice. Besides, a swab test would be done for them and they would be home quarantined and monitored by the BHERT in their barangay. A health declaration tool may also not be answered truthfully.

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