By Joseph B.A. Marzan
The Iloilo provincial government has scrapped the Safe, Swift & Smart Passage (S-PASS) system for all travelers under Alert Level 1, as reiterated by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. on Friday.
Defensor issued Executive Order No. 260 on Thursday, May 5, implementing the recommendation of the national Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
The new E.O. is derived from the IATF-MEID’s Omnibus Guidelines on the Nationwide Implementation of Alert Level System for COVID-19 Response as of April 12, 2022.
Included in these changes are implementation of administrative and engineering controls in offices and establishments, including availability of handwashing stations, ventilation policies, and continued wearing of face masks.
The S-PASS system, as well as other travel requirements, was missing from the new edict, and the provincial government on its Facebook page clarified that it was indeed scrapped.
“As per Executive Order No. 260, Series of 2022, the Safe, Swift and Smart Passage (S-PaSS) is no longer required for entry to the Province of Iloilo,” the provincial government said in their official Facebook page.
But the governor clarified that many parts of Executive Order No. 175, which implemented the Alert Level 2 system in the province, remains intact.
“There are other quarantine measures in our EO that are still relevant, they are not as applicable because of Alert Level 1, but we maintain them. It may come to a time that provisions under [E.O. No. 175] may still be needed,” he said.
Defensor also issued on Thursday an amendment to E.O. No. 244, which now includes ready-to-lay pullets in the list of exemptions from the province-wide ban on all live domestic and wild birds and their products.
These pullets are production-type hens that are aged between 18 to 20 weeks and have already laid their first eggs.
Section 2 of E.O. No. 244-A outlines the following requirements for the entry of ready-to-lay pullets:
– Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) Test result of samples collected from its source farms within the last 21 days;
– Must be sourced from Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) accredited farm;
– Must be sourced from Avian Influenza free municipality/city as certified by the Provincial Veterinarian;
– The shipper shall identify one quarantine area of the birds per shipment;
– Implementation of strict biosecurity measures of the quarantine area shall be monitored by the Municipality/City Agriculture Office and/or the Provincial Veterinarian Office;
– All ready to lay pullets shall undergo 14-day quarantine and regularly monitored by the municipal/city livestock technician/veterinarian after which, the birds may be released from the quarantine area;
– The Municipality/City Agriculture Office shall issue certification upon completion of the 14-day quarantine of birds; and
– Announcements must be posted at the gates of the quarantine area announcing the number of birds and period of quarantine.
Continued to be banned from domestic imports include table eggs, salted eggs, quail eggs, embryonated eggs (balut and penoy) and chicken manure from Mainland Luzon (Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A, 5, and the Cordillera Administration Region) and Mindanao and other areas affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus.
As to the upcoming May 9 election, the provincial government’s operations center is on high alert status to ensure peaceful and orderly conduct.
“We put the operations center on Red Alert. We are ready to coordinate with our partner agencies for a peaceful and orderly election,” the governor said.