Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte yesterday, May 3, clarified that there is no regionwide border control or lockdown currently being implemented nor is Davao City requiring land travelers to present negative RT-PCR test results upon entry.

Claims have been doing the rounds of social media after the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) allegedly approved the appeal of the Davao City government to partially close down the borders of Davao Region to ensure that only essential travelers are allowed to enter the region.

“We are not aware of any lockdown dinhi sa Davao Region. I understand there is a talk going around about the lockdown in Davao Region,” Duterte said during her Special Hours Program over the Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR).

However, she explained that Davao Region is not Davao City. Davao Region, she said, means Region 11 that is composed of the provinces of Davao Occidental, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental and Davao City. 

The mayor also said that since the Davao Region COVID-19 response is under the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) and Regional Task Force (RTF), the general public has to wait for whatever resolution and guideline that it will come out with. The head of COVID-19 response in each local government unit (LGU) is either the governor or the mayor.

Duterte said, “Anything or any talk or anything na kinahanglan i-implement sulod sa atong region, we listen, we wait, and follow the RIATF or RTF as operations and implementing arm. Kung walay ginasulti ang RIATF or RTF, dili ta dapat mag-speculate or magpawas og bits and pieces of incomplete information so that dili ma confuse ang mga tawo (Whatever will be implemented in the region, we listen, wait, and follow the RIATF. If the RIATF or RTD don’t have anything to say, we should not speculate or spread bits and pieces of incomplete information so as not to confuse people).”

She assured that the RIATF and RTF will be making any guidelines public. The mayor said that chiefs of the LGUs were asked to comment on the uniform border control as of their last meeting, which Davao City has already done.

“Wala pud mi kabalo asa po ang nanggikan ang kanang confusion with regard to the regional border controls na plano sa RIATF and RTF. As I said, let’s wait for the RIATF and RTF to wind down that guide na sundon sa Davao Region.  (We don’t know where the confusion arose regarding the regional border controls being planned by the RIATF and RTF. As I said, let’s wait for the RIATF and RTF to wind down that guide that will be implemented in Davao Region),” Duterte added.

She also said that they don’t understand where the confusion is coming from with regard to travel between LGUs within Davao Region. What they have been discussing or planning with the RIATF is regional border control and not a city-wide or provincial-wide border control.

The mayor continued, “Sa pagkakaron, walay restrictions sa travel within the region (There are no travel restrictions within the region). You only have to comply with the requirements for travel.”

For Davao City, according to her, there are no additional travel requirements for arriving travelers. She cited that air passengers, under the Davao City Ordinance 0477-21, Series of 2021, are mandated to present a negative RT-PCR test result upon entry to the city via the Davao International Airport while land travelers 

must have a Safe Davao QR (DQR) and must pass symptom screenings upon arrival.

Executive Order 12-B Series of 2021 mandates that all land travelers from the NCR plus area and the entire island of Cebu, including those who landed in other airports of Mindanao, be subjected to RT-PCR testing if they could not present a negative RT-PCR test result taken 24 to 72 hours within their arrival in the land borders of Davao City. CIO