Mandatory medical clearance certificate for all domestic airline passengers proposed

Published June 11, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Aaron Recuenco

Airline industry stakeholders have been asking the government to require all domestic passengers to produce a medical clearance certificate before they are allowed to board the plane.

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said the concern was aired during a teleconference he presided over that was participated in by police aviation security officials, officials of the government air transportation security offices, representatives of airline companies and representatives of Local Government Units (LGUs) where airports are located in the provinces.

“The teleconference was aimed at threshing out issues, ensuring the effectiveness of securing our air-riding clients and harmonizing the implementation of procedures in accordance with the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID),” said Eleazar.

During the meeting, airline industry stakeholders and the representatives of the local government units especially those where airports are located said the medical clearance certificate will serve as a first layer of defense by both the passengers and the people in the points of destination of the arriving travelers.

Currently, those classified as APOR, or Authorized Persons Outside Residence, only have to show their identification cards or any documents that they are connected to a company for their travel. But the travel must be work-related.

The airline industry stakeholders argued that the Medical Clearance Certificate will also help the LGU in implementing their respective quarantine protocols.

Eleazar said that it was agreed during the meeting that the medical clearance certificate would also enhance the peace of mind of members of the community in the LGU-destination that all the arriving travelers are safe from COVID-19.

“While protocols of the LGU-destination have still to be followed by the arriving travelers, it was also agreed during the meeting that a Medical Clearance Certificate would somehow expedite and facilitate the process of compliance on local quarantine rules,” said Eleazar.

The Medical Clearance Certificate should be issued by City or Municipal Health Office of LGU-origin, or Department of Health-accredited clinics and hospitals.

Eleazar said the letter request from the airline industry stakeholders will be coursed by the JTF COVID Shield to Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año, the IATF-MEID Vice Chairperson.