Gov’t workers allowed unimpeded travel
MANILA, Philippines — Government officials and employees on official business will no longer undergo testing and quarantine measures at their destinations except for symptom screening at the port of their arrival or upon boarding public transportation.
Under the latest rules approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), government officials and employees would have to present certified true copies of their travel authority or order issued by the department secretary or his designated representative.
They must also present their government IDs and comply with the minimum public health standards.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the exemption from mandatory quarantine and testing protocols also applied to employees of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.
The new rule was announced as economic officials expressed concern at the economic impact of the restrictions imposed in the country.
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua lamented that for every day that Metro Manila and adjacent regions were under quarantine, P700 million in wages, salaries and other income were lost.
Chua earlier said the country should be able to relax quarantine restrictions in March after the mass COVID-19 vaccination starts this month.
He said the vaccination program would have a big impact as it would improve confidence in the country’s health-care system, given that health-care workers would be among the priority recipients.
This means people will not be afraid to leave their homes because they know the health-care system is there to protect them, he said.
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