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DoTR contractors barred entry in Albay due to ECQ

LEGAZPI CITY --- Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara and Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal have denied the request of contractors of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Philippine National Railways (PNR) to land at the Legazpi City Airport as part of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) measures, but Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion allowed their plane to land in Naga City Airport despite of the lockdown.

The contractors, 12 persons in all, two of whom are reportedly Chinese nationals, are from Certeza Infosys Corporation (CIC). Their mission in Bicol is to conduct aerial mapping along specified areas in connection with a railway project of the PNR.

Reports said Legacion allowed them to land in the Naga City Airport after Albay top officials refused to give them permission to land in Legazpi City. The contractors were aboard a private plane. They are reportedly billeted at the Nagaland Hotel.

From the Naga airport, the contractors were able to pass through border checkpoint as they were escorted by a vehicle of the Naga City Incident Management Team (IMT), the report said.

Cynthia M. Tumanut, Legazpi area manager of the Civil Aeronautics Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), in an Apr. 24 letter to Claudio Yucot, Bicol director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), said CIC President Reynaldo R. Adorador sought permission to conduct the survey and land in Legazpi as its personnel will be staying in a hotel in the city.

The aerial survey had the prior permission of the CAAP central office, Tumanut said.

“In view thereof, may we respectfully request clearance and or may be further actions from your good office as far as border control relative to precautionary measures employed by Bicol IATF on COVID- 19 is concerned considering that the crew and the personnel involved will be staying/accommodated in one of the hotels in Legazpi City,” Tumanut said in her letter to Yucot.

Yucot, for his part, told Tumanut to land the plane in Legazpi and as to conduct of the survey, to “kindly instruct them to coordinate with the provincial governments of Camarines Sur, Albay and Legazpi City regarding this matter since it might violate their local enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) policies.”

Upon being informed of the matter, Bichara and Rosal disallowed the plane landing and stay in Legazpi of the CIC contractors in view of the strict enforcement of ECQ meaures in the province to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Meanwhile, Legacion’s action to allow the contractors to land and to stay in the city triggered fear among city residents as the contractors may be infected with Covid-19.

Efforts to get Legacion’s side on the issue proved futile as he cannot be reached from his mobile phone.

However, in a post on Tuesday, Apr. 28 in his official Facebook (FB) page (Mayor Son Legacion), he said the personnel of CIC are certified by DoTR as Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR). Eight personnel already returned in Cavite, five are in the Naga Airport in Pili and they will not be allowed inside Naga. Four are now inside the city-controlled quarantine facility in Pacol.

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