Cebu can't be exempted from following national pandemic protocols – Duterte

Cebu can't be exempted from following national pandemic protocols – Duterte

MANILA, Philippines —Cebu could not be exempted from the implementation of national quarantine protocols and COVID-19 testing, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday in his taped weekly briefing.

The province has been insisting on implementing its own rules, which are contrary to the guidelines set by the COVID-19 task force.

“The pandemic is a national emergency. Whatever is recommended and approved by me remains to be obeyed. I cannot make an exception for Cebu,” Duterte said.

“If the task force says you really have to go into a quarantine for 10 days, for as long as that is not changed, we can’t do anything about it,” he added, speaking partly in Filipino.

requires testing of inbound travelers for COVID-19 on arrival and allows them to undergo home quarantine.

But the national COVID-19 task force requires inbound travelers to undergo a strict 10-day quarantine and be tested on the seventh day.

Duterte said he understood the eagerness of returning Filipinos to get home, but he said rules must be followed because of the pandemic.

“They have to subjugate their desires, whatever they are for the national interest of the country,” Duterte said.

Meanwhile, he said Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia would have to explain her decision to stick to provincial rules to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“So all that she has to do is to explain to the DILG. If you do not want to follow, the DILG would call your attention,” Duterte said.