LGUs retain discretion on requiring RT-PCR tests for travelers

LGUs retain discretion on requiring RT-PCR tests for travelers

MANILA – The local government units (LGUs) have the final say on the requirements for travelers who will visit areas that are within their jurisdiction, Malacañang said on Friday.

The clarification was made after some LGUs expressed concern over the Inter-Agency Task Force the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID) previous resolution relaxing domestic travel protocols.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF-EID issued on Thursday a new resolution revising its earlier policy to avoid confusion and emphasize that LGUs can still require domestic travelers to take a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

“This means that LGUs retain the discretion in requiring RT-PCR testing or accepting duly issued Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) vaccination cards for allowed interzonal travel,” Roque, who concurrently acts as IATF-EID spokesperson, said in a press statement.

On July 2, the IATF-EID approved Resolution 124-B allowing domestic travelers to present a Covid-19 vaccination card duly issued by a legitimate vaccinating establishment, or a certificate of quarantine completion showing the holder’s vaccination status.

Under IATF-EID Resolution 124-B, the presentation of vaccine card or a certificate of quarantine completion for interzonal travel “shall be sufficient alternatives to any testing requirement (before travel or upon arrival) which the local government unit of destination may require.”

The IATF-EID’s latest resolution clarifies that LGUs “may accept” the Covid-19 vaccination card or a certificate of quarantine completion “as an alternative to RT-PCR testing.”

“Considering the ongoing improvements on the system for verifying Covid-19 vaccination cards, Covid-19 vaccination cards duly issued by legitimate vaccination establishments/authorities shall be sufficient proof of vaccination,” said IATF-EID Resolution 125 approved Thursday.

The new resolution also warns individuals who will issue fake Covid-19 vaccination cards.

“Any individual who shall present forged and/or falsified vaccination cards shall be dealt with in accordance with law,” it said.

On Tuesday, Roque warned that individuals involved in the production of fake vaccine cards will be jailed. (PNA)

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