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League of Provinces wary of removing COVID-19 test as travel requirement


The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) on Tuesday expressed hesitance in allowing the entry of fully vaccinated travelers to different places even without a negative COVID-19 test result.

Interviewed on Dobol B TV, Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr., LPP president, pointed out that getting vaccinated does not guarantee a 100% protection from the disease.

“May agam-agam ang ating mga local chief executive lalo sa Liga ng mga Probinsya. Ang laki po ng agam-agam kung tatanggalin 'yang pag-require ng RT-PCR test o antigen test prior to arrival,” he said.

(The local chief executives especially in the LPP are hesitant. There is a big hesitance if the requirement of RT-PCR or antigen test prior to arrival will be removed.)

A recent resolution by the Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) allows full vaccination as an alternative to testing.

under IATF-EID Resolution No. 124-5, fully vaccinated people will only need to present their vaccination card for interzonal travel as well as for intrazonal movement.

Velasco said conducting only health and exposure screening on fully vaccinated travelers may lapse in identifying an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient.

He suggested to the IATF to let the local government units have the discretion whether they will require COVID-19 tests.

“Ang aming hinihiling sa IATF ay bigyan ng option ang LGU kung ire-require pa ring mag-submit ng certificate of PCR test or antigen test for arrival

(We are requesting the IATF to give the LGU an option if they would require the submission of a certificate of RT-PCR test or antigen test for arrival.)

According to the government, a person is considered fully inoculated if it has been two weeks or more since he or she received the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, and two weeks since receiving a single-dose COVID-19 jab.

In addition, a fully vaccinated individual must be administered with vaccines that have emergency use authorization or was issued Compassionate Special Permit (CSP) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration or is included in the Emergency Use Listing of the World Health Organization

On Monday, the Baguio City government said tourists with complete vaccination can now enter the city without carrying a negative COVID-19 test result as the IATF eased travel protocols. —KBK, GMA News