Governors’ group: Give LGUs link to vax records
Local government units (LGUs), which would ultimately authenticate documents presented by travelers at their borders, must be given access to the national government’s online record of vaccinated persons, the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) said.
Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco Jr., LPP president, said this could be a means to prevent the entry of potential virus carriers, who might fake or forge COVID-19 vaccination cards.
But in the absence of such safeguard, Velasco, in a telephone interview, said the LPP had appealed the latest Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) resolution allowing the use of vaccination cards as a border screening document for domestic travel.
The LPP wants to retain the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test upon entry and Velasco said his group was glad that the IATF had brought the matter up during Thursday’s meeting.
“A vaccinated person doesn’t mean he could no longer carry [or spread] the virus,” he said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, in an earlier television interview, warned the public against faking vaccine cards to skirt travel restrictions, but said the process of creating a unified, online list was ongoing.
“[The Department of Information and Communications Technology] is still coming up with a database of all vaccinated individuals, of all 12 million [so far] of them,” he said.
To cross-check vaccine records, Velasco said, “All LGUs must be given access to [this] portal containing the information on the list of vaccinated people … All LGUs issuing vaccination cards must immediately submit [information] to [the national] portal.” The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) said it would support the latest IATF resolution easing the rules on interzonal travel of vaccinated persons.
Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, the LMP president, said the group had backed the gradual easing of travel protocols as the government continued its vaccination drive.
“We are supporting it (IATF resolution) but with caution,” Singson said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
—WITH A REPORT FROM LEONCIO BALBIN JR.
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