BACOLOD CITY – San Carlos City, the northernmost locality in Negros Occidental, has re-established the health checkpoints in its three villages situated at the boundary of Negros Oriental on Tuesday.
The checkpoints were restored due to the rising active cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Negros Oriental, the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) said.
Lt. Col. Arthur Baybayan, officer-in-charge of San Carlos City Police Station, told the Philippine News Agency that border control checkpoints are now in place in Barangays Buluangan, Codcod, and Quezon.
He said that four policemen, including two from San Carlos City Police Station and two from the Regional Mobile Force Battalion, have been assigned at the Buluangan checkpoint, located at the boundary of Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental.
Four Philippine Army personnel have also been deployed, but have been pulled out temporarily, he added.
Baybayan said in Barangays Codcod and Quezon, the border checkpoints are manned by the local government unit and the village personnel, but they will still discuss the final coordination in a meeting with the EOC.
The borders in the three villages of San Carlos City have been re-opened late last year, but travelers from Negros Oriental still need to have valid reasons and must secure travel authority before crossing to Negros Occidental.
As of Feb. 23, San Carlos City has seven active Covid-19 cases, the second-highest in Negros Occidental.
Negros Occidental has only 58 remaining active cases as of Feb. 22, while Negros Oriental still has 146 active cases as of Feb. 19, which is the latest available data posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday.
On Monday, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said he has discussed with San Carlos City Mayor Renato Gustilo the possibility of adopting the system between Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental and Mabinay, Negros Oriental in the south.
Starting March 1, residents of Mabinay will be allowed to enter Kabankalan for up to 12 hours a day.
Kabankalan will ease border control with Mabinay mainly to boost commerce and trade while observing health and safety protocols, Lacson said.
In March last year, intra-island borders of Negros Occidental have been closed to Negros Oriental as part of the measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the province. (PNA)