Iloilo-Bacolod sea trips resume

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Travel restrictions from Iloilo to Negros Island were lifted Wednesday.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas announced the lifting through the city government’s official Facebook page.

“Upon due consideration, the City of Iloilo hereby reconsiders its decision to ban the travel of passengers from Iloilo City to Bacolod and vice versa. We apologize to everyone for the inconvenience,” Treñas said in a statement.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. also confirmed the lifting of restrictions from the province. (

On Tuesday, Treñas announced the suspension of travel to and from Bacolod City, following the recommendations by a team of private doctors in the city.

The recommendation was based on the advisory posted by Riverside Medical Center, Inc. (RMCI) in Bacolod City, saying it has reached full capacity in admitting and treating coronavirus (Covid-19) patients.

“It seems that the RMCI in Bacolod made a social media post which triggered a scare in our doctors in the city,” the mayor said.

Defensor followed Treñas shortly by announcing the closure of travel from the ports in Dumangas and Estancia towns.

For his part, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia stopped travel from Bacolod City to Iloilo city and province, as well as Guimaras province.

Mayor Raul Gerona of Tabuelan town in Cebu also closed passenger services to Iloilo and Negros Tuesday.

But in a statement, RMCI clarified that its capacity to admit Covid-19 patients remains manageable.

Its isolation facility “has only 11 beds, of which eight are occupied by Covid-19 positive patients with mild symptoms and three are occupied by probable patients,” the hospital said.

“In addition, there are eight Suspected/Probable patients admitted outside the Isolation Facility but within the designated Covid-19 area at the 5th floor of the hospital. The RMCI has allocated 20 percent or 53 beds out of its bed capacity for Covid-19 related cases.

“As of July 21, 2020, only 19 beds or 36 percent are occupied with zero deaths, since the start of the pandemic. This is considered a low census for Covid-19 cases admitted in a healthcare facility,” they also said.

In a statement posted to the Bacolod City’s Public Information Office Facebook page yesterday, Leonardia announced the resumption of trips after communicating with Treñas, Department of the Interior and Local Government-6 Director Juan Jovian Ingeniero, and Office of Civil Defense-6 Director Jose Roberto Nuñez.