MANILA – To ensure that Covid-19 vaccination cards are “authentic”, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday floated the possibility of entering into an agreement with other countries so that individuals can easily prove their vaccination status.
This, after Roque on Friday announced that all individuals fully vaccinated against Covid-19 who wish to enter the Philippines must undergo a seven-day facility-based quarantine upon arrival.
“Ang personal kong pananaw, bilang isang nagturo ng international law sa [University of the Philippines] ng 15 taon, baka kinakailangan magkaroon ng isang international na kasunduan kung dapat magkaroon ng standard na vaccination certificate ng sa ganun hindi po problema ang pagauthentic kung totoo o peke yung vaccination card (My personal view, as someone who has taught international law at UP for 15 years, it may be necessary to have an international agreement if there should be a standard vaccination certificate so that it is not a problem to authenticate if the vaccination card is true or fake),” he said in a press conference in Pasay City.
Roque appealed to the public to wait for the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to forge agreements necessary to show proof of vaccination.
“Kung nakapagantay naman tayo ng mahigit isang taon bago dumating ang bakuna, makapagaantay naman tayo ng konting panahon para magkaroon ng pagkakataon ang buong mundo na magkaroon ng kasunduan kung pano nga bang gagawin sa mga taong nabakunahan na (If we can wait more than a year before the vaccine arrives, we can wait a little longer for the whole world to have a chance to come to an agreement on what to do with people who have been vaccinated),” he added.
Meanwhile, Roque apologized to the public amid criticism over the IATF-EID’s seven-day facility-based quarantine rule.
“Ang daming bumatikos nung weekend at ang sabi eh ang request dapat wala na raw quarantine sa mga bumabalik na mga Pilipino lalung-lalo na yung magbabakasyon po. Paunawa po, pero unang una tagapagsalita lang po ako, laway lang po ang tawag sa akin (Many criticized last weekend and requested to lift to quarantine for returning Filipinos, especially those who are on vacation. Please note, but first of all I’m just a speaker, I’m just called talking head),” he said.
Last week, Roque announced that individuals fully vaccinated who want to return to the Philippines only need to undergo a seven-day quarantine instead of completing the 14-day facility-based isolation
The IATF-EID’s new rule does not apply to fully vaccinated individuals who receive the vaccine jabs abroad.
He said the fully vaccinated individual must carry his or her vaccination card “which must be verified prior to departure and must be presented to a Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) representative for re-verification at the Department of Transportation (DOTr) One-Stop Shop upon arrival in the Philippines.”
Vaccines administered to the individuals in the Philippines should either be covered by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) or compassionate special permit (CSP).
Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing will only be done, in case the fully vaccinated individual manifests Covid-19 symptoms within the seven-day quarantine. (PNA)