Gov't told to give local execs discretion over domestic travel requirement


Posted at Jul 08 2021 09:05 AM | Updated as of Jul 08 2021 09:44 AM

Gov't told to give local execs discretion over domestic travel requirement 1
Passengers queue at the Araneta City Bus Station in Quezon City on March 25, 2021, a week before Holy Week. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Governors on Thursday urged the national government to give them discretion over domestic travel requirements after a recent policy allowing fully-vaccinated persons to skip confirmatory swab tests.

The Department of Health has said it would review the latest travel policy after local officials expressed concerns on Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 124-B, citing lack of consultation and the difficulty to validate vaccination cards.

Local executives know better about the situation in their area, said Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr., national president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines.

"Ang stand ng karamihan sa mga gobernador ay i-allow pa po ang LGUs na gumamit ng RT-PCR o antigen tests kahit po fully-vaccinated," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(Majority of governors want local governments to be allowed to use RT-PCR or antigen tests for fully-vaccinated persons.)

"'Di naman ho lahat ng LGUs ay gagamit nyan. Hinihingi lang po namin na bigyan ng discretion o option ang LGU na magrequire ng testing requirement. Depende po yan sa lugar ng LGUs."

(Not all LGUs will use it, we just want the LGU to be given discretion or an option to mandate a testing requirement. It will depend on LGUs.)

Velasco added that fully-vaccinated individuals may still contract COVID-19.

"Ang sabi po ng mga eksperto ay kahit fully-vaccinated hindi naman 100 percent protected. In short mild to moderate ang magiging epekto pero di magiging severe...ibig sabihin mahahawa pa rin at magiging carrier pa rin," he said.

(Experts say even if you're fully-vaccinated you're not 100 percent protected. You may contract mild to moderate infection but not severe...which means you can still be infected and become a carrier.)

"Pangalawa, hindi epektibo ang medical exposure assessment sa mga asymptomatic."

(Second, the medical exposure assessment does not work for asymptomatic patients.)

Local governments usually require a confirmatory negative swab test result within 72 hours of departure from the tourist's place of origin, Velasco said.

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