Mary Jane Morales has made an appointment online twice to get an international certificate of vaccination or yellow card from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).
The first time she got the schedule, it was close to their house in Manila but still in November. So in her second attempt, she was lucky enough to schedule this Tuesday at a mall in Quezon City.
She paid P300 per transaction in both tries.
She is in a hurry to fly to Hong Kong for the waiting job as a domestic helper.
“Magastos… Marami na ako nagastos, last year pa ako nag-a-apply, marami nang naubos na pera, nakapagbenta rin ng gamit, motor, kasi may babayaran sa pamasahe sa training, sa medical,” she said.
According to the BOQ, the yellow card has been charged for a long time, and the charge for this service cannot be reduced or eliminated.
“Traditionally, may bayad naman, wala pang COVID…. May security features, may overhead expenses tayo para ma-maintain nang maayos. Ang BOQ umaasa sa kanilang income para makapag-operate at serbisyo. Kung babawasan natin ‘to baka magkaproblema tayo,” said BOQ director Ferdinand Salcedo.
The yellow card was issued to seafarers in the 1930s as proof that they had been vaccinated against yellow fever or polio.
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But it’s not just seafarers who issue it because countries looking for proof of COVID-19 vaccination also need it.
Due to the limited capacity of the BOQ and limited space, it also limits what can be issued per day.
Nationwide, the BOQ can accommodate 2,000 per day for the yellow card.
Applicants are advised to give way to those who need to leave first and wait for online confirmation before heading to the satellite offices.
For now, the government will first issue yellow cards to those traveling to countries or areas that will require a vaccination card, while VaxCertPH is still working to issue a vaccination certificate free of charge and acceptable abroad.