Ormoc City reverts to stricter protocols

Lance Lim
Ormoc City reverts to stricter protocols

DEFENSE. Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez reverts to stricter protocols against COVID-19

Ormoc City government

Fully vaccinated air and sea travelers and those who have completed quarantine are still exempt from the RT-PCR test requirement

SAMAR, Philippines – Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez signed on Wednesday, January 5, an executive order modifying guidelines for the city’s COVID-19 response.

EO 235 bans unvaccinated people from entering establishments without them presenting a negative result of an RT-PCR or rapid antigen test.

Gomez also imposed an 11 pm to 3 am curfew after easing this in December 2021 to allow people to attend Christmas dawn masses. 

The City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) told Rappler that gatherings in residences and public areas won’t be permitted, except for wakes.

Unlike other provinces and key cities, Ormoc will still exempt from RT-PCR test requirements the fully vaccinated air and sea travelers who show proof of status. Persons with certificates of quarantine completion also do not have to take a test.  

Those who cannot present either document, whether tourists or returning residents, need to show negative antigen, saliva, or RT-PCR tests upon entry at seaports and the airport if they have no vaccination cards or certificates of quarantine completion. 

Ormoc eased its border restrictions on land travel, allowing those coming in via Tacloban airport to enter the city borders more swiftly. 

But the city said it would flag residents who have stayed away for seven consecutive days and ask for their test results.

Gomez said the city government wants to “keep healthcare utilization at a manageable level.” 

In indoor business establishments, only 50% of the total seating capacity can be filled up by partially and fully vaccinated individuals. But minors will be allowed entry even if unvaccinated. 

For outdoor venues, 70% of the total seating capacity will be available for patrons regardless of vaccination status. 

Before the Christmas season, Ormoc City had zero cases. Ormoc City then recorded its first COVID-19 cases last January 3 with 10 cases. As of Thursday, January 6, Ormoc City has a total of 19 active cases. –

Lance Lim is a Visayas-based journalist and a recipient of the Aries Rufo Fellowship Award.