The Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday it is up to local governments to impose a temporary ban on the entry of certain foreign nationals in the province as a measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

DOH MIMAROPA regional director Dr. Mario Baquilod said during the press briefing organized by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) that they respect the functions and roles of the local government towards their constituents, particularly in the prevention of entry of virus from China.

“Kung ano ang magiging decision ng local, it’s the call of the local government. Kung ito ay makakatulong para maibsan at mapigilan ang pagkalat ng coronavirus we will support that,” he said.

However, Baquilod said that it is still not advisable to implement a travel lockdown in the ports and airports because it should be implemented in the source of the virus.

“Ang lockdown should be coming from the source of the virus. So far ay nagkaroon na ng lockdown ang Wuhan at Hubei para ma-prevent ang paglabas ng virus but even before the lockdown ay dahil sa travel ay nagkaroon ng spread. It is not advisable at this point na magkaroon ng lockdown ang isang lugar,” he said.

Baquilod said that the decision will still be coming from the local chief executives and officials of the local government units (LGUs).

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.