PAL crew can tell which COVID test results are fake, says spokesman

Published February 18, 2021, 2:04 PM

by Ariel Fernandez

A Philippine Airlines official has guaranteed the capability of ground crew and check-in counter staff when it comes to detecting fake travel documents and certificates, especially swab test certificates.

(Manila Bulletin File Photo)
(Manila Bulletin File Photo)

“Our ground crew are trained to detect whether or not a COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) test certificate is fake,” PAL Spokesperson Cielo Viillaluna said.

Villaluna gave the remarks following reports that several local tourists–particularly those booked for the famous Boracay Island in Aklan–have been caught with fake COVID-19 test results.

Tourists bound for Boracay are required to submit a negative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, or swab tests within 72 hours before arriving on the island. They are issued with provisional quick response (QR) codes while the test results are being validated.

Aklan police earlier filed criminal complaints against five tourists who submitted falsified negative RT-PCR test results. They were charged for violating Republic Act (RA) No. 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, and for falsification of documents.

Over 100 tourists have been caught with falsified RT-PCR tests results since October 1, or when the island began accepting tourists outside of Western Visayas for the first time amid the COVID pandemic.

Many of them were accosted upon their arrival in Malay town, Aklan, while some were halted before they could board their flights in Manila.