Visitors still need a negative coronavirus disease RT-PCR test result to enter Boracay, the popular beach destination in Aklan.
This is in the face of the discretion of local governments whether to allow the entry of fully-vaccinated tourists into their areas even without a negative RT-PCR test.
Malay Teleradyo, Aklan Mayor Frolibar Bautista told Teleradyo ni Malay that they could not be sure if the vaccination card presented by individuals entering the island is real.
“Kasi hindi natin masiguro, alam mo naman sa Boracay nakapasok nga ‘yung mga peke na RT-PCR test result na. How sure are we naman na itong vaccination card ay hindi nila ma-tampered yan?” said Bautista.
It will be recalled that there have been incidents of people being caught falsifying their RT-PCR test in a popular tourist destination that also alarmed the local government of Aklan, which includes Boracay.
Tourists will once again have to present negative COVID-19 tests every time they travel, the Department of Health (DOH) clarified on Wednesday.
After the IATF announced on Monday, the vaccination card can now be used to get to the destination.
But due to the doubts of local governments that were not consulted, the directive went back to normal.
Negative RT-PCR tests still required to enter Boracay: mayor
“Bago niyan, ang dati nating resolution ay meron tayong testing… Sa ngayon, ibabalik muna natin doon (testing requirement),” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque.
After Duque’s interview, the DOH issued a statement saying it is “status quo” now, and the presentation of the COVID-19 result is still required.
“This means LGU can still require testing as a requirement to entry. Status quo,” DOH said.
Duque said government agencies would meet on Thursday to finalize the tourist travel policy.
Some, such as Baguio City, have decided to allow fully vaccinated individuals to enter their destinations because they have a way to verify the vaccination card presented by tourists.
According to the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) President Presbitero Velasco Jr., all cards must be uniform to be easily verified.
They also said that LGUs should be allowed to decide whether to require swab testing on vaccinated tourists before entering their respective areas because their requirements and situations vary.