BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — The municipal government of Hinobaan, the southernmost town in Negros Occidental, is planning to open its borders to Basay and Bayawan in Negros Oriental.
Mayor Ernesto Estrao yesterday told journalists that he also wants to open the town to their neighbors like what several local government units (LGUs) in the province did.
Starting March 1, residents of Mabinay in Negros Oriental will be allowed to enter Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental, provided they are in private vehicles and will stay for not more than 12 hours.
Estrao said he would get the opinion of Basay Mayor Beda Canamaque and Bayawan Mayor Pryde Henry Teves on his proposal to allow their residents to travel within the three LGUs.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday said he would meet with Mayor Estrao to discuss the matter.
Estrao said the pandemic badly affected his town’s economy as well as the local tourism industry.
He said the municipal government strictly complied with the health protocols mandated by the inter-agency task force, by limiting the movement of the people.
Tourists from different LGUs in Negros Occidental are now allowed to enter Hinobaan, provided they present health certificates.
Those from Negros Oriental are not allowed to enter Hinobaan.
As of Feb. 20, Hinobaan had only four active COVID cases, Basay had none and Bayawan had 10 as of Feb. 19.
The city government of San Carlos in Negros Occidental yesterday restored its border control at its boundary with Vallehermoso and Canlaon City in Negros Oriental upon Lacson’s advice.