BACOLOD CITY – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson reiterated on Friday the stand of the provincial government on requiring returning residents to undergo swab tests upon arrival as part of the health and safety protocols against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Although Lacson committed to adhering to Resolution 101 issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, adopting uniform travel protocols and requiring all inbound travelers to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result once they arrive at the seaports and the airport in the province, he has expressed concerns on the effects of the new protocols.
“Unfortunately, there are fake test results being presented. That’s why it’s better that we do the swab test here. I hope they (national IATF) will understand this. We will show them what we have discovered,” the governor said in a radio interview.
“We will inform them to allow us to go back to our old protocols. You want to come in here, we will swab you at the seaports or the airport,” he added.
Lacson said some returning residents from Kabankalan City have admitted that they paid a certain amount in exchange for a negative result.
On Thursday, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said they have gotten hold of copies of eight fake RT-PCR tests and are considering what actions to take.
In Executive Order (EO) 21-18 issued by Lacson on March 13 in compliance with Resolution 101, the provincial government requires all inbound travelers to present a negative RT-PCR test result upon arrival, except for those residing within Western Visayas.
Travelers from outside Western Visayas are required to secure an S-Pass (Safe, Swift, and Smart) Passage Permit, download the StaySafe.PH application, and present a negative RT-PCR test released 72 hours before travel.
Despite requiring a negative RT-PCR test result, the provincial government will still offer free voluntary swabbing, and both swabbing and quarantine to inbound passengers, according to EO 21-18. (PNA)