Tourism dep't warns tourists who forge travel docs
MANILA - Three recent visitors on Boracay Island who were among six found to have presented fake COVID-19 test results have tested positive for the infectious disease, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday.
This prompted the agency to appeal anew to travelers to stop falsifying their coronavirus test results, and warned them they could be charged for it.
"The Department of Tourism (DOT) appeals to travelers to stop forging and faking travel documents, else face fines and proper criminal charges from the local government units (LGU), which may include the penalty of imprisonment," it said in a statement.
A negative COVID-19 test result 72 hours before travel is required of tourists who plan to visit the paradise island in the Visayas.
A hotel confirmation from a DOT-accredited hotel and an accomplished online health declaration are also part of the requirements.
The DOT urged LGUs to "tighten" applications of visitors made through their registration system.
It reiterated that Manila-based tourists can avail of subsidized RT-PCR tests at the Philippine General Hospital and the Philippine Children's Medical Center, at P900 and P750, respectively.
Monitoring of the three positive cases, who have since been quarantined at the Aklan Training Center, and tracing their contacts are being done by health authorities from the Malay LGU and DOT Boracay.
The internationally-recognized tourist hub re-opened to travelers in October last year, in efforts to boost the country's tourism after lockdowns imposed to arrest the spread of COVID-19 crippled the industry.
Tourism groups previously said they project that the industry will recover in 2021, with the opening of Boracay and other tourism hubs.
According to a report of the Malay Tourism Office, 11,898 individuals visited Boracay Island for the entire month of January this year, of whom, 8,951 are from Metro Manila.
A group of 6 Boracay tourists were also apprehended in December after five of them brought fake COVID-19 test results.
The country has logged 530,118 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of Wednesday, including 31,455 active cases, 10,942 fatalities and 487,721 recoveries.