FLIGHTS TO and from the Iloilo International Airport will continue despite the strictest quarantine level imposed by the national government until end-July, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas announced over the weekend.

“Commercials flights and trips will not be stopped as far as the city is concerned,” he said in a statement.

The mayor also said it will not further restrict people’s mobility by requiring the use of quarantine passes.

Mr. Treñas, along with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr., have been lobbying for an easing of their areas’ lockdown level, citing the adverse impact on the economy.

However, the national task force handling the coronavirus response on Friday ordered an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the province as well as in the independent city following the detection of coronavirus delta variant cases in Antique, a province that is within the same region.

Mr. Treñas, in another statement, said the order is “most unfair” considering the improved coronavirus situation in the city, but “he cannot do anything but accept the (task force’s) resolution.”

He cited that the delta variant that was detected in May 27 was in Pandan, Antique, “a good 6 hours road trip from Iloilo City”; there is no report of any variant in Iloilo City; and cases in the city are currently “20% lower” than last month.

“With all these reasons and more, I find the lockdown of Iloilo City unjustified and unfair to my people. 500,000 Ilonggos or a portion thereof will go hungry for the next two weeks,” he said.

Mr. Treñas said the city government is preparing to open community kitchens to assist those who will be most affected. — MSJ