ILOILO CITY – Four more tourists bound for Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan were caught with fake reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests and QR codes at Tabon Port in Caticlan on Tuesday.
“They were in addition to the seven who were apprehended last week,” said Aklan Provincial Administrator and spokesperson for the province’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) lawyer Selwyn Ibaretta in an interview on Wednesday.
Ibaretta said the four who attempted to enter were caught presenting not just fake RT-PCR tests but also QR codes.
Before a tourist can secure the QR code, they first have to comply with the requirements to include negative RT-PCR result taken 72 hours before travel, hotel reservation from establishments accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT), travel details, government-issued ID, and registration with the S-PaSS (Safe, Swift and Smart Passage) online travel system.
The four, who were from the National Capital Region (NCR), are currently on quarantine in Kalibo to be subjected to swab testing.
Ibaretta said either the Malay Municipal Police Station (MPS) or the DOT can file appropriate charges against the violators.
Meantime, due to increasing cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Aklan, the administrator said strict quarantine measures are being implemented in the province.
Aklan Governor Florencio T. Miraflores on June 8 signed Executive Order 005-C placing Aklan under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) but with “heightened restrictions”.
The EO said minimum public health standards need to be complied with at all times under the MGCQ areas while the movement of all persons shall be limited to accessing and delivery of goods and services from permitted establishments.
Individuals below 15 years old and over 65, those immunocompromised and with comorbidities, and pregnant women are prohibited from leaving homes except for availing of essential goods, services, and for health or medical reasons.
“Only essentials within Aklan are allowed and movement from one barangay to barangay is being monitored by BHERTS (barangay health emergency response teams) and barangay tanod,” he said.
They need to have a travel pass that will be issued by the barangay or by the mayor if they will travel to another municipality.
As of June 9, as per the regional bulletin released by the Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD 6), Aklan has 558 active cases of its 2,815 total cumulative infections. It also has 58 deaths and the rest have recovered. (PNA)