The Coast Guard District Palawan (CGDPal) said they have identified, along with the Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRMMO), three possible isolation areas for Filipinos coming back to the country though its backdoor from Malaysia.
CGDPal commodore Allan Corpuz said during the Provincial Information Office (PIO) online press briefing on Friday that they have identified the islands of Sicsican and Salinsingan in Balabac and King’s Paradise Resort in Sofronio Española as areas to hold the Filipinos who will be returning from Malaysia.
He said that this will be their measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the province coming from the backdoor.
“Ayaw man natin pumasok ang ating mga kapatid natin galing sa Malaysia, wala tayong magagawa kesa hayaan natin sila na lapastanganin don o patayin. Kinakailangan na paghandaan natin kung ano man ang magiging desisyon ng ating gobyerno dahil mga kapatid natin yan, we really have to accept them,” he said.
Corpuz said that they considered SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) analysis and advantage and disadvantage factors in selecting the areas and the study has been submitted on Friday to PDRRMO.
He noted that there are many undocumented Filipinos in Sabah, Malaysia, and the CGDPal has decided to deploy vessels with Philippine Navy and PNP Maritime Group to monitor their return.
“Marami talagang mga undocumented Filipinos dyan sa ating kapitbahay sa Sabah ganon at alam din natin kung gaano kataas ang numero ng may COVID yan, infected,” he said.
He said that they have also prepared boats between the mainland and Balabac island to patrol and ensure that there will be no passengers to cross between.
“Sa pagitan ng mainland at Balabac ay sinigurado na rin namin na may boats na nagpapatrolya nang sa gayon ay maiwasan ang pag-cross, purely ang kautusan ay mga cargo lang kaya yon ang pinapahintulutan, passengers definitely wala,” he said.
The PDRRMO said that they have no data on how many Palaweños are currently staying in Malaysia.
Dr. Mary Ann Navarro, chief of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), said that they have talked with the barangay captains in Balabac and they are tasked to report the number of arrivals.
“Nakausap na namin ang mga kapitan, security naman ang unang sasampa doon, pag may dumating magri-report sila at meron na rin silang personal protective equipments. Isa lang ang doktor natin sa Balabac pero nag-deploy sya ng teams na magbabantay,” Navarro said.
Navarro initially stressed that one of the best things to do is to secure the boarders and backdoor of the province to avoid the entry of individuals who could be possible carriers of COVID-19.
“Ang best na magagawa natin ay protektahan ang boarders natin, dapat wala muna makakapasok na galing dahil malakas ang rate of transmission ngayon lalo na sa NCR at CALABARZON,” she said.
“Tapos sa backdoor naman natin ngayon ay malakas ang transmission sa Malaysia so dapat walang makakalusot sa atin papasok kasi kung nagiging maganda na ang ating datos dito sa probinsya. Sana walang makapasok sa atin o makalusot galing labas kasi sila na naman yong may dala ng virus,” she added.