A total of 30 overseas Filipinos (OFs) returned on Tuesday to Negros Oriental amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the provincial Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) said.
Adrian Sedillo, IATF-EID executive director, said the OFs arrived at around 3 a.m. at the city port here on board a Cokaliong vessel.
Another 51 ROFs are en route to the province on board a bus to take the barge from the Bato port in Samboan, Cebu to the Tampi wharf in Amlan, Negros Oriental.
They were still awaiting the go-signal from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) as the latter would not allow them to depart for Negros Oriental unless there is a certificate of acceptance from the receiving province, Sedillo said.
He said the PCG is strictly adhering to protocols and would not allow any exemption unless given the authority by a higher body, such as the regional IATF.
There was also misunderstanding on the schedule of trips to Tampi as the original agreed plan was for the returning residents to take the barge from Bato on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, he added.
All 81 ROFs were swabbed and quarantined in hotels in Cebu City prior to their return, Sedillo said.
He said they will be required to stay at a hotel for at least three days before they will be turned over to their respective local government units. (PNA)