ALBAY, Philippines – The hard lockdown imposed in this province exempts nobody, not even residents.
Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara Wednesday, March 18, ordered a total border closure here, hoping to spare the province from a novel coronavirus infection.
With the borders sealed, not even Albayanons currently outside the province will be allowed to enter and return home. Also those in the province will be barred from leaving.
“Stay where you are even if you’re outside Albay because you can no longer go home as we are closing all borders in the province to prevent the entry of coronavirus disease,” Bichara said.
The Albay-Camarines Sur border, Tiwi-Camarines Sur (Tiwi-Sangay Coastal Road) border, and Albay-Sorsogon border, including all other possible entry points – by land, air, and sea shall be restricted.
Police Col. Wilson Asueta, Albay police provincial director, said the critical areas are the Polangui and Tiwi-Sangay entry and exit points, where motorists will be strictly assessed by a composite team of personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and local government units.
Bichara said all the mayors of Albay’s 3 cities and 15 towns supported the border closure.
When asked if the border closure will affect the Albayanos’ food supply, Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal, chairman of the Regional Development Council, said that local government units will provide locally-sourced products for citizens.
“All mayors of the 15 towns and 3 cities of Albay will buy local products, to be given to the people, specifically the hand-to-mouth families, for free,” he said.
As of Wednesday there was still no reported case of COVID-19 in Albay. COVID-19 is the illness caused by the new coronavirus. – Rappler.com