DOT alarmed over fake COVID-19 test results in Boracay

The Department of Tourism has expressed concern over the COVID-19 test result of six tourists who went to Boracay on Monday.

According to Tourism Secretary Berna Puyat-Romulo, the “test before travel” policy in Boracay is strictly enforced after it was opened to the public despite the pandemic.

Malay police immediately arrested six local tourists from Metro Manila. They are now facing charges of violating Republic Act 11332, Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, and Republic Act 11469, Bayanihan to Heal as One Act due to submitted documents.

It was learned that four women and two men were transferred to the Aklan Training Center, which is a in Barangay Old Buswang Kalibo, Aklan. They will undergo a mandatory swab test and will be quarantined for 14 days.

Atty. Selwyn Ibarreta, the administrator of the Caticlan Port in Aklan and head of the provincial COVID-19 Technical Working Group, said the police went to their hotel rooms after discovering that five of the six RT PCR Test results they submitted were fake.

Boracay is one of the tourist destinations allowed to open to tourists from the General Community Quarantine area.

DOT alarmed over COVID-19 test results in Boracay

All tourists heading to Boracay Island are required to submit a negative RT-PCR test result that comes out 72 hours before their trip.

Puyat-Romulo, on the other hand, praised the quick action of the Aklan provincial police. They will ensure that wrongdoings do not infiltrate tourist destinations, especially as there is a regulation against COVID 19.

Last month, DOT also slammed a Halloween party in Boracay Island amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press statement, Puyat called described the mass gathering at Casa de Arte in Sitio Cagban, Barangay Manoc-Mano, last October 31 as “irresponsible.”

The DOT chief stressed out that while the party occurred inside a private residence, the local government, stakeholders, and guests of the island must strictly observe the prescribed health and guidelines determined by the Interagency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) amid the pandemic.