Several towns in Palawan have started tightening their borders as Puerto Princesa City reported a surge of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The Dumaran municipal Inter-Agency Task Force (MIATF), in an advisory released on Thursday, “highly discouraged” its municipal residents from traveling to the city.

Dumaran residents who have recently been in the city were also highly recommended to undergo home quarantine to minimize the possibility of spreading COVID-19.

Tito Dangue of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) San Vicente said that they have tightened the boundary checkpoints as they remained to be on the lookout to make sure the highly infectious disease would not reach San Vicente town.

“Tuloy ang vigilance dito sa San Vicente. Checkpoint intensified operations, ‘yong observance ng minimum health protocols sustained enforcement and compliance ng community,” Dangue said.

Roxas town mayor Dennis Sabando said they will start monitoring the health situation of residents arriving from Puerto Princesa City.

“Tatanggapin din natin ang mga kababayan nating uuwi ng Roxas ngunit pababantayan natin (health monitoring) sa barangay na nasasakupan nila,” said Sabando.

Brooke’s Point mayor Mary Jean Feliciano, in a Facebook post, urged town residents to forego their travel plans to the city “unless absolutely necessary.”

Sofronio Española, which recorded a total of five positive cases from locally stranded individuals (LSIs), has issued an executive order (EO) with stricter quarantine measures in place.

“Naglabas na tayo ngayong hapon lamang ng order na lahat ng mga taga-Sofronio Española na uuwi dito galing ng Puerto ay mandatory na sa 14-day home quarantine, at ‘pag nakauwi sila dito babantayan sila ng BHERT sa kanilang mga barangay, kasama sa EO ang mga aalis dito ay kailangan na ding kumuha ng APOR (authorized persons outside of residence) certificate sa MDRRMO (Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office),” said Acoy.

The same precautionary measures were also raised by Cuyo, Agutaya, ang Magsaysay towns as more and more mainland municipalities have joined the COVID-19 tallies.

“Sa ngayon po ang protocols na set in place ay 14 days home quarantine lahat po ng umuuwi na galing sa loob ng Palawan, at facility quarantine naman po sa nanggagaling outside Palawan. Pero ngayon na dumadami na po ang mga kaso sa Palawan, we are looking into strict control measures, possibly i-limit po muna yung mga bumabiyahe outside Cuyo-Agutaya-Magsaysay [CAM], at mag-facility quarantine na po ng lahat ng pauwi including those coming from other areas of Palawan,” said Alena Yap of the Agutaya municipal health office.

As of June 26, Palawan has recorded a total of 26 COVID-19 cases, 21 of which are active cases. 10 cases are from Puerto Princesa City, 5 are from Sofronio Española, 3 are from Coron, 3 are from Busuanga.

(With reports from Romar Miranda, Alex Baaco, Patricia Laririt, Ruil Alabi, and Faith Alen Galicia)