Swab testing is still required when traveling to Bohol—Gov. Arthur Yap

Published March 1, 2021, 4:28 PM

by Jessica Pag-iwayan

Here are the new guidelines you should know if you’re planning to go on an adventure trip in Bohol

BOHOL BEAUTY Known as the home of cute Tarsiers and majestic Chocolate Hills, Bohol has recently opened its doors for tourism. (Jessica Pag-iwayan)

Despite the resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) stating that testing and quarantine for travelers are no longer mandatory, the local government unit (LGU) of Bohol is not adhering to it.

During a dinner hosted by Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap for the tourism media including Manila Bulletin Lifestyle in Modala hotel in Panglao, last Feb. 23, 2021, the former Department of Agriculture secretary said that he will not waive the mandatory swab testing. 

“Hindi ko tatanggalin kung ako (I will not waive it),” he tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “To be fair with IATF, they never really mandatorily impose. They made their rules but at the end of the day, they allow the local governments to implement what is really apt for the area. They respect it.” 

Gov. Arthur C. Yap during the media dinner held at Modala Hotel, Panglao, Bohol last Feb. 23, 2021.

As of writing, Bohol has only 100 active COVID-19 cases and the LGU wanted to keep it that way, protecting both the tourists and their residents. 

“Remember, this is a province of 1.5 million people. And then, from March last year to March this year, our total infection is only thousand plus… Our recovery [rate] is 90 percent, death is 20 people,” Yap continues. “So we like to keep it here.”

New protocols

In line with this, Bohol LGU is rolling out new protocols and guidelines. In Executive Order No. 12, series of 2021, signed by Yap, all individuals coming in to Bohol shall go mandatory swab testing. If it’s RTC-PR  test, this should be done at least 72 hours before the flight and is only valid for a three-day stay in the province. 

Copy of Executive Order No. 12 Series of 2021

If you wish to extend your stay, you “shall undergo mandatory testing which can either be RTC-PR or antigen test.” 

Rapid antigen test (RAT) is accepted given that it will be done prior to departure from the point of origin and before entering Bohol. The LGU is also now accepting PCR saliva test, as long as it yields negative result.

Copy of Executive Order no. 12 Series of 2021

Last, quarantine is only applicable for travelers who will develop symptoms anytime during their stay in the province.