The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) said Thursday most local government units oppose the removal of COVID-19 testing as a travel requirement amid the continuous threat of the pandemic.
In an interview with Dobol B TV, LPP president and Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr. said most LGUs want to retain the RT-PCR COVID-19 test as a travel requirement.
“Karamihan po ay hindi. Meron pong ilan na puwede na pong tanggalin. Pero karamihan po gustong i-impose yun, ‘yung RT-PCR na pre-travel requirement,” he said.
“Yung iba naman po gustong gamitin, mag-impose upon arrival mismo ‘yung PCR test, provided may laboratoryo na po doon ‘yung LGU of destination kaya kailangan mabilis ang resulta,” he added.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) recently issued Resolution No. 101 for standardized travel protocols across all LGUs. It said travelers do not need to undergo testing unless mandated by the LGU.
Velasco, who also chairs the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), said they are requesting to allow antigen test aside from RT-PCR test. The antigen test is faster and more affordable.
Travel authority and health certificates will no longer be required under the IATF resolution.
Most LGUs oppose removal of COVID-19 testing as travel requirement – LPP
Travelers would no longer be required to undergo quarantine unless they show symptoms at the destination upon arrival.
“Tinanggal na po ‘yung quarantine kaya nga po wala na kaming line of defense e. Tinanggal po ‘yung travel authority, health certificate, tinaggal din po ‘yung quarantine,” Velasco said.
“Ang nire-require lang po ngayon ay ‘yung clinical and exposure assessment na baka hindi supisyente kung yung gagamitin lang ay ‘yung temperature gun. Tatanungin lang sa health checklist,” he added.
Velasco added the LGUs would be conducting thorough physical examinations since the COVID-19 testing is no longer required.
“Ang nire-request po namin ay mas thorough po ang physical examination. Hindi lang po ‘yung tinatanong dahil hindi naman po lahat nagsasabi ng totoo,” Velasco added.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said the national government had never issued a policy requiring COVID-19 testing for travelers, adding it was the decision of local government units.