BACOLOD CITY: Five Negrenses might face legal action from the provincial government for their failure to disclose that they returned from the United Kingdom, Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Wednesday.

Negros Occidental - LGU mulls case vs UK balikbayan
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson. Provincial Government of Negros Occidental Photo

He bared that the five returning overseas Filipinos allegedly did not tell authorities that they came from the UK before going back to the province.

He said two, who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), were from
Pontedevedra town. Their son, however, tested negative. The couple was asymptomatic, but would further be tested for the Covid variant, UK B117, Lacson noted.

Meanwhile, the three others, who belong to the same family and are from EB Magalona town, tested negative.

The couple from Pontevedra, who came from London and travelled via Istanbul on Dec. 30, 2020, arrived in Bacolod via Air Asia on Saturday, January 16.

Lacson said they underwent a mandatory swab test at the Bacolod- Silay Airport, which turned out positive for Covid-19.

A report from the Pontevedra Covid Task Forces said the couple claimed to have an additional 16-day strict hotel quarantine in Manila while they await for the approval of their return to the province.

“They did not state in their information that they came from outside the country. They also claimed that they were already quarantined in Manila,” the governor pointed out.

They declared themselves as locally stranded individuals, but “their passports showed they were not completely honest,” he added.

Their test results will be sent to the Philippine Genome Center to determine if they are infected with the variant, he added.The couple are under strict home quarantine and will not be allowed to go out, Lacson said.

They were not transferred to the EB Magalona Healing Center to prevent the possible spread of a UK variant.

“We are also filing a complaint with the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases against the five returning residents, he said.
Lacson added that the provincial government will implement health protocols for locally stranded individuals especially swabbing on arrival. We will expand it to also cover returning overseas Filipinos,” he added.

Lacson appealed to returning Negrenses to follow health protocols, submit themselves to swab tests and truthfully answer the health forms they are required to submit.

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