The Naga City government has set stricter health protocols to pilgrims and visitors who intend to observe the weeklong religious feast of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the patroness of Bicol, that has started on Friday, Sept. 11 until Sept. 21, this year.
Mayor Nelson Legacion said the new health guidelines would ensure that visitors who plan to visit the city during the feast are not infected with the virus.
The new health guidelines imposed by the city requires visitors especially devotees of “Ina” from outside the region to bring with them “valid travel authority and medical certificate from their respective places of origin accompanied by a letter of acceptance issued by the Naga City government.”
Legacion said that the same documents are also required from those returning residents or visitors within Bicol but outside Camarines Sur province where Naga City is located.
For Naga residents working outside the city but within Camarines Sur, both in government or private establishments, they must present their valid identification cards issued by their companies, Legacion said.
Persons outside Naga City but within Camarines Sur would only be allowed to enter the city when they have an emergency situation.
But vehicles delivering essential goods. Including food, beverages, medicines, supplies, agricultural products, rice, vegetables, poultry, and fish would be allowed to enter Naga City as long as their places of origin are within Camarines Sur, Legacion said.
The Naga City government through a resolution, failed to get approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) relative to its request to place the city under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for the duration of the Peñafrancia fiesta.
The Peñafrancia fiesta attracts millions of visitors coming from the different parts of the country and abroad.
Department of Health (DOH) Covid-19 tracker showed that Naga City has a total of 304 COVID cases, 200 recoveries, with seven death.
Of the total 1,589 cases in Bicol, Camarines Sur topped the list with 333; followed by Albay, 316; Naga City, 304; Legazpi City, 255; Sorsogon, 134; Masbate, 129; Catanduanes, 69; and Camarines Norte, with 47 cases. The cases were recorded from March 27 to Sept. 10 by the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol.