First-term Board Member from the southernpart of Palawan cited the urgency to ban the entry of Chinese nationals in the province amidst the novel Coronavirus outbreak in China and other parts of the world.
Board Member Ryan Maminta argued, during the meeting of the Committee of the Whole last Tuesday, that when torn between the economic interests and protection of their constituents, as public leaders, they must choose the latter.
He pointed out that the powerful and capable country like China has shaken by the unexpected event, so he asked on what would the province do if it will happen to Palawan. This, along with some of his witty statements prompted the visitors and some of the media to clap despite being prohibited inside the plenary hall.
The local legislator even indirectly castigated the national government for not issuing a travel ban order againts the chinese nationals. The Malacañang is previoulsy firm with their stance that there is no need to bar the entry of the Chinese nationals in the Philippines.
In response, Board Member Bon Ponce de Leon said that although he understood Maminta’s argument but with regard on his suggestion to ban those nationalities he opined that “it’s so extreme.”
Among the other suggestions during the meeting is to procure and install another thermal scanner in domestic arrival area of PuertoPrincesa International Airport or at least borrow the existing one installed in the international arrival area as suggested by Committee on Health and Sanitation chairman, Board Member Jay Rodriguez.
They also urged the close monitoring of all the municipal airports in the islands of Palawan even the privately owned or managed airstrips of resort hotels. This is to ensure that tourists are accurately checked from the symptoms of novel Coronavirus (nCoV) as part of precautionary measures.
Board Member Rodriguez likewise called the attention of everyone to refrain from spreading unofficial or unverified information to avoid giving false information and unnecessary fear to the public, akin to the appeals of the Department of Health to Filipinos.
In a separate occasion, when DOH Regional Director Mario Baquilod was asked during the “Kapihan sa PIA” yesterday for his reaction regarding Maminta’s suggestion, he said that they will respect whatever the LGU’s decisions may be.
“That’s definitely the decision of the local government unit. Kami, naman po is more on health response. [But] definitely, we will support the local government,” he said.
According to the data from the Philippine Red Cross as of this writing, nCov confirmed cases in China rose to 7,678, with 170 deaths, and 66 positive cases in Asia alone, including the verified case in the Philippines of which, the carrier is a 38-year-old Chinese national.
With the recent confirmed case in the country, reports say that the national government is initially considering the suggestion to temporarily closed the country from the Chinese.