Governors want COVID-19 testing for tourists upon entry to provinces

By: Inquirer.net - Inquirer.net | March 11,2021 - 11:50 AM

MANILA, Philippines – A group of governors has asked the national government to allow COVID-19 testing for travelers at the point of entry in provinces.

Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr., president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, said that governors have asked to impose either reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), saliva or antigen test for travelers.

“Ang hinihiling po namin para mayroon naman po kami ng paraan para malaman po kung positive ‘yung papasok, upon arrival dun sa port of entry na i-allow po ang LGU na magprescribe ng PCR test, saliva test or antigen test,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.

(What we are asking is to allow LGUs to prescribe a PCR, saliva or antigen test upon arrival of travelers so that we would have a way to know if they are positive for COVID-19.)

“Karamihan po ng aming mga gobernador ay gusto pong magtesting dyan po sa point or port of entry, ganun po ‘yung aming posisyon,” he added.

(Most of the governors want to conduct testing on the point of entry and that is our stand.)

Velasco, however, said governors would follow the government’s mandate to allow the entry of tourists in provinces and cities as it would help the economy recover.

“Sinusunod naman po namin ang kagustuhan ng national government at IATF (Inter-Agency task Force) kasi gusto namin po nating lumakas na po ang ekonomiya.”

(We follow the protocols of the national government and the IATF because we want our economy to recover.)

Velasco also said that their provinces are “defenseless” and “very vulnerable” after the requirement for travel authority was removed and quarantine for asymptomatic travelers is not required anymore.

“Defenseless po at very vulnerable po ‘yung mga probinsya at mga lungsod dahil tinanggal na po yung travel authority, tinanggal po yung medical certificate, wala na pong quarantine kung asymptomatic,” he said.

(Provinces and cities are defenseless and vulnerable because of the removal of the travel authority, medical certificate upon entry and quarantine for asymptomatic entrees are no longer required.)

Malacañang earlier said that under the Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 101, travelers do not need to undergo COVID-19 testing unless required by the LGU prior to travel. The resolution said only RT-PCR test is allowed. — Liezelle Soriano Roy, Trainee

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TAGS: antigen test, COVID-19, group of governors, IATF, Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr., pcr test, saliva test, testing for travelers

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