Passenger arrested at Davao airport for having tampered RT-PCR test result

Published November 13, 2020, 5:04 PM

by Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – Local authorities arrested a passenger, who arrived at the Davao International Airport (DIA) from Manila on Friday, November 13, for having a tampered reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-CR) test result.

Mayor Sara Duterte said, during her interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Friday, that the traveler changed the date of the virus test, and made it appear that he complied with the 24-hour to 72-hour “negative” RT-PCR requirement of the local government.

Airport authorities found out that the RT-PCR test result was issued last August, she said.

“This was what the traveler submitted at our Davao International Airport. So, as I said, our team there at the airport—they have ways to validate those 24-hour to 72-hour RT-PCR test results… It turned out that it was taken last August,” she added.

Duterte said the passenger was swabbed for COVID-19.

City Tourism Office Head Generose Tecson posted on social media a photo of the tampered RT-PCR result, which showed the testing date was November 10, and the date of issue as November 12.

However, authorities learned that the test was, in fact, taken on August 13 upon verification with the Philippine Red Cross – COVID-19 platform.

“Just today, our Verification Section in Davao’s FBIA (Francisco Bangoy International Airport or DIA) caught a passenger with a tampered RT-PCR result. Please do not do this for your own sake and in consideration for the safety of your family and other people just in case you turn out positive. Testing at the FBIA is free,” she said.

Tecson said the passenger has been referred to the tourist police for filing of charges for violation of falsification of documents.

Last July 22, Duterte required swab testing for arriving passengers with no “negative” coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test result through reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), issued within 72 hours before their scheduled departure from the airport of origin, at the Davao International Airport.

Once cleared, passengers could proceed to a mandatory 14-day home quarantine.