'That's wrong!' Roque clarifies outbound Pinoys not required to be fully vaccinated

Published June 13, 2021, 9:14 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

“That’s wrong!”

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque clarified that Filipinos leaving the country were not required to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque (File photo/Malacañang)

Roque made the clarification after the official Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Facebook page said outbound Filipinos had to have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

The now-deleted post likewise quoted Roque supposedly saying that Filipinos leaving the country should undergo verification and present a certification that they have been vaccinated.

In a text message to reporters, Roque said the post was erroneous.

“That’s wrong,” he said.

“It’s not mandatory and will apply only to those who want a shortened quarantine upon their return,” he added.

On June 4, the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the guidelines on inbound international travel to any port of the Philippines of all fully vaccinated individuals who have been inoculated in the Philippines.

A fully vaccinated individual must carry his vaccination card, which must be verified prior to departure, and must be presented to a Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) representative for re-verification at the Department of Transportation (DOTr) One-Stop Shop upon arrival in the Philippines.

However, a week later, the IATF ruled that apart from the vaccine card, travelers arriving from abroad must carry a government-issued certificate showing the person’s last coronavirus dose.

An individual shall be considered as having been fully vaccinated two or more weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series, or two or more weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.

All inbound fully vaccinated individuals shall be required to undergo a seven-day facility-based quarantine upon arrival. The BOQ shall ensure strict symptom monitoring while in the quarantine facility.

The fully vaccinated individual shall only be tested for COVID-19 if he manifests symptoms during his stay in the facility.

After completing the seven-day facility-based quarantine, the BOQ shall issue a Quarantine Certificate indicating the individual’s vaccination status.

A total of 5,965,651 doses of COVID-19 have been administered as of June 6, 2021, and 1,544,332 individuals have been fully vaccinated.