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Mati City imposes tighter Covid measures for the holiday season

DAVAO CITY—The coastal city of Mati in Davao Oriental, which boasts of one the country’s longest white-sand beach, has announced it will be enforcing stricter measures on entry of people, including tourists, to the city during the holiday season.

The city was one of the few local governments to open its destinations to tourists in June this year, including its famous Dahican Beach, a 7-kilometer white-sand beach and its three world-famed bays.

Although the health protocols were already in place, the city government said it would not relax these “to serve as a deterrent to the expected surge of cases of Covid-19 due to the expected increase in traffic of visitors in time for the celebration of Christmas and New Year,” its information office said on Wednesday.

Mayor Michelle Nakpil Rabat issued on Wednesday Executive Order 110, Series of 2020 for “returning and visiting families/friends; and visiting tourists, businessmen, and transient workers, who will be staying in the City of Mati for more than 5 days; to present a negative result of their RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Test [RAT] before they will be allowed entry.”

Returning and visiting families or friends, and tourists would be also required of the following: health or medical certificate from place of origin; accomplished health declaration; to undergo required health screening and to observe City Ordinance 427, Series of 2020, known as “City of Mati Disiplina Panahon sa Pandemya Ordinance”; to stay in residence for a maximum of 5 days only in order not to be quarantined.

For visiting or returning family members or friends, their movement shall be restricted within the vicinity of the residence and no engagements with family members for those placed under home quarantine and they must avoid densely populated areas such as markets, malls, and the like unless the quarantine has been complied and completed.

For returning residents frequently traveling to other places due to medical, business or official reasons, they are required of the following: present identification card and travel manifest at border checkpoints upon entry back to Mati. Travel authority issued from the City of Mati may also be presented; if travel to other places will exceed for more than three days, they would undergo home quarantine of 14 days upon return; and completion of case investigation form (CIF) and kasabutan (or agreement), if required for 14 days home quarantine (contact tracing teams and BHERTs will provide form and do monitoring).

For visiting tourists and businessmen, the city would require them to have prior booking with resorts or hotels as “no booking, no entry” policy will be strictly enforced.

Curfew hours are imposed from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Meanwhile, Mati City was the lone awardee in the Davao  region for the 2020 Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) Special Awards.

The Special Award is given to cities or municipalities that have sustained the Drug-Cleared Status of their Drug-Affected Barangays for this year.

There are a total of 274 recipients of the ADAC Special Awards and the City of Mati was the only awardee in the Davao region.

The 2020 ADAC Special Awards recognizes outstanding Civil Society Organizations and Department of the Interior and Local Government ADAC Regional Focal Persons and Alternates for their exemplary efforts on their role in complementing the national government’s anti-illegal drug programs amid the pandemic, and local government units for their relentless effort in eradicating the drug menace with drug prevention programs from 2017 to 2019.

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