Waiving of medCert, travel authority for travelers bound for MGCQ areas eyed – DILG exec
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on Thursday, February 25, welcomed the plans of the national government to waive the need to present a medical certificate and travel authority in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
Garcia, during the ceremonial opening of the Bamboo Forest in Medellin town in northern Cebu, said she was glad the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) did not find any violations on her decision to drop real-time polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR) as a requirement for incoming tourists.
“I wish to thank Undersecretary Densing for clarifying and I wish to thank them for going beyond what we already started in taking out the medical certificate and travel authority,” Garcia said.
The governor was referring to recent statements from DILG Undersecretary for Operations Epimaco Densing III, clarifying that their department found no violations on Garcia’s Executive Order (EO) No. 12.
This after reports from national media quoted Densing issuing warnings to local government units (LGUs) not following guidelines by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID).
But in a separate interview with local media, Densing said he ‘was only joking’ when he said local officials could face sanctions if they drop swab tests as requirements for incoming local tourists.
Garcia, for her part, stood by with her decision in issuing EO No. 12 last Monday, February 22 that effectively mandated province-bound tourists to only present a medical certificate, and pass symptoms checking at seaports and airports to gain entry.
“I have always abided with the IATF guidelines, if the rest take the trouble in doing thorough research, would find that they are constantly evolving,” she said.
In the meantime, Garcia said they will wait for official recommendations from the IATF that would waive the need to present medical certificates and travel authority for guests bound for MGCQ areas.
“We will wait for them to make this official before we can make any decisions or amendments in our EO,” she added.
Cebu province has been placed under MGCQ, the most lenient form of community quarantine, since July 2020. /rcg
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