In a meeting last week on developments in the Bicol region regarding the COVID-19 Omicron variant of
concern, DILG regional director Anthony Nuyda said that the government is moving away from border
control and towards granular lockdowns in areas where cases are rising.
He was answering a query on whether stricter border control measures are to be expected in the wake of
the discovery of two Omicron cases (who are now deemed recovered) in Camarines Sur.
Dir. Nuyda stated that the zonal containment strategy is more effective than the community quarantine
system that was implemented in 2020 and 2021 until it was replaced by the Alert Level System.
He likewise expressed support for the Metro Manila Development Authority’s move to limit the movement
of unvaccinated people.
The DILG official’s statement came before Pres. Duterte himself ordered barangay officials to identify who
among their constituents are still unvaccinated and then keep them confined to their homes except in
case of essential errands.
In Metro Manila and adjoining areas which have been placed under Alert Level 3, police checkpoints have
begun requiring residents to show proof of vaccination status in compliance with the Duterte directive.
The DILG has already advised all motorists and commuters in the metropolis to bring proof of vaccination
at all times if they want to be allowed entry at PNP checkpoints or when entering malls and other public
places including taking public transportation.
Unvaccinated individuals going to work must present a negative RT-PCR test result every 2 weeks
otherwise they will not be allowed to pass the checkpoints, it reminded.
In Catanduanes, the provincial government has reinstituted the travel ban on Locally Stranded Individuals
(LSIs) and Returning Residents coming from areas classified higher than Alert Level 2.
Only APORs, Essential, Emergency and Indispensable Travelers are allowed entry, with a negative RT-
PCR test valid for three days from date of testing required, regardless of vaccination status.
The new EO issued by Gov. Joseph Cua that took effect Jan. 8, 2022 is also a drastic departure from the
previous Dec. 3, 2021 EO, which required fully-vaccinated travelers to present only their vaccination
cards aside from the S-PaSS.
Instead, travelers from areas with Alert Level 2 or lower are now required to present a negative Antigen
test valid for three days from date of testing, regardless of vaccination status. And no traveler below 12
years old will be allowed entry into the province.
On the other hand, travelers who exhibit symptoms at border control shall be allowed entry but they shall
be immediately referred to their town’s BHERT/RHU and transported to a quarantine facility or subjected
to home isolation.
The capitol’s EO may seem to be an overreaction, considering the DILG regional office’s statement on
moving away from border control.
Perhaps, the provincial IATF is just trying to keep Omicron cases from entering the island.
Sometime during the first three days of the year, the number of active cases in Catanduanes actually
dropped to zero.
Since Jan. 4, it has risen to 16 as of Sunday, with Virac accounting for half of the new cases as well as
the lone death attributed to COVID-19, an 88-year old woman.
Baras has three new cases, while the towns of Viga, Caramoran, San Miguel, Bato and San Andres have
THE SHOESHINE WOMAN. A man walks into a barber shop and says, "I'll have a shave and a shoe
The barber lathers his face and sharpens the straight edge while a woman with the biggest, most
beautiful breasts he has ever seen kneels down and shines his shoes.
The man says, "You and I should spend some time in a hotel room."
She replies, "My husband wouldn't like that."
The man says, "Tell him you're working overtime, and I'll pay you the difference."
She says, "You tell him. He's the one shaving you."