ILOILO CITY – Sea travel between the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod are expected to resume next week after more than two months of being suspended due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

IloiloWharf 1024x679 - Iloilo-Bacolod sea trips expected to resume next week
The wharf in Iloilo City that caters to high-speed boats bound for Bacolod City. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

This was after Mayor Jerry Treñas of Iloilo issued Executive Order No. 167, while Mayor Evelio Leonardia of Bacolod City was expected to issue a similar order in the next few days.

But the resumption of sea travel between the two cities could also mean that health and safety protocols will be implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“All must observe and strictly apply the minimum health standards, safety protocols and health declaration cards,” said Treñas.

To recall, it was last July 27 when both the city governments of Iloilo and Bacolod suspended sea travel as the number of locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 began to spike.

But Treñas noted that the city government finally agreed to follow the recommendation made by the regional COVID-19 task force to allow travel of people living within areas classified as general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (GCQ).

While Treñas’ executive order allows sea travel starting October 14, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA-6) clarified it still could not start.

MARINA-6 Regional Director Jose Venancio Vero still has to talk to both Treñas and Leonardia on how to implement the health protocols for travel between Iloilo and Bacolod.

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