Palawan LGUs unsure about scrapping Covid-19 requirements for travelers
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Local government units (LGUs) in Palawan will still study whether to adopt in full the new guidelines released by the national Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) that scrapped the mandatory reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a requirement for domestic travel.
Lawyer Arnel Pedrosa, Puerto Princesa City administrator, and Winston Arzaga, Palawan information officer, in separate statements to the Inquirer, said the local officers will study first the new policy set by the national government.
Pedrosa added that the City IATF will take the matter next week, and address the concerns to the higher policy-making body in adaption or deviation from the new policies set by the national Covid-19 task force.
“We are at the battle front, mas alam natin ‘yong kalagayan at sitwasyon kung ano man ang mayroon tayo dito (we are more familiar with the situation here),” Pedrosa said in a phone interview on Saturday afternoon.
Under IATF Resolution No. 101, swab testing will no longer be compulsory for travelers, except if required by the respective LGUs.
Travelers will also not be required to undergo the required quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms on arrival at their destination.
In February 15, the City Incident Management Team (IMT) of Puerto Princesa still required travelers to present an RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to their departure.
AirSWIFT Airlines, which flies from Manila to El Nido, in an advisory issued on Friday, also echoed the same testing requirement as outlined by the El Nido LGU through its Revised Executive Order (E.O.) No. 48 effective February 22.
In San Vicente, the negative swab test for Covid-19 requirement remains, as the municipal tourism officers geared to accept domestic travelers under the “bubble” set-up, which was organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT).
“No exit flight no entry for tourists. No negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure, no entry. All tourists will be issued an acceptance letter by San Vicente,” said Lucy Panagsasan, tourism officer of San Vicente, on Friday.
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