For the love of God (and safety of everyone), do not fake your swab test result when you travel

Published December 11, 2020, 3:25 AM

by Vianca Gamboa

Everyone is itching to travel again, but a lot of people are considering reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR tests to be their modern-day blockade. The reasons are valid: It takes up a huge percent of their travel expenses, and it’s literally a matter of leaving it all up to chance—hoping all their money spent on flight tickets and accommodations doesn’t go to waste—a day before their departure. 

But using these self-regarding reasons to falsify results is nothing short of a petty crime. It can snowball into a public issue in a hot minute. Just recently, 19-year-old Cherry Conisang was caught presenting a fake RT-PCR result upon an online verification of the QR code in her health declaration form, which turned out to be under a different name. Another set of five tourists staying in Boracay were also apprehended for forging the result of their friend’s. They were the third and eighth consecutive recorded violators of the incident, and hopefully the last. 

If you’re planning to do it, here are all the reasons why you shouldn’t.

It imposes a great risk to the people around you.
One of the main reasons why a traveler would fake a test is because they are afraid of a positive result. Considering the fact that everyone, even your sister, could be harboring the virus, is the first mantra when getting tested. It means you actually care about the people around you. The next step is expanding this thought outside your local vicinity: How much of your walking, breathing irresponsible decisions can harm innocent people? It means you actually care about your fellow human beings. 

You may spread the virus to a place with minimal Covid-19 cases. 
These destinations are reopened for a reason, and it’s because they have curbed the virus before it got out of hand. By unwittingly infecting surfaces and locals around you, you could be tampering with their Covid-19 statistics. 

There are free RT-PCR tests
If you’re more concerned about the money, you should know that you can avail free swab or rapid tests if you know where to look. Domestic airlines like PAL is giving passengers of Manila – General Santos flights a free Antigen testing until Dec. 17. You may register via PAL’s testing partner’s booking portal.

All RT-PCR tests come with a unique QR code that can’t be forged.
According to Department of Tourism Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat, all accredited RT-PCR results have a corresponding quick response (QR) code that can’t be copied. “One can cut and paste the result, but what they don’t know is that there is a code that will indicate whether or not the test is genuine and authentic.” 

You’ll face jail time… instead of turquoise blue waters. 
Bummer, right? According to Republic Act No. 11332 (Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act), tourists who falsify documents, especially test results, shall face criminal charges. You should know that the infamous Boracay delinquents are being detained as we post this article.