Lower House solon appeals for quarantine protocol leniency for 'balikbayans'

Published June 15, 2021, 12:49 PM

by Ben Rosario

ACT CIS Partylist Rep. Rowena Niña Taduran called on the Inter-agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the Department of Health to observe the practice of other countries in easing travel restrictions for returning Filipino who are fully vaccinated.

Taduran said IATF and DOH should strongly consider lifting the mandatory seven-day quarantine for balikbayans who have completed the vaccine protocol against the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Under current rules, foreigners and returning Filipinos are required to undergo a seven-day quarantine in a government-approved facility as part of the precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19 virus.

Taduran said government should consider that balikbayans who have completed the two-dose vaccines or one time jab have “a very low risk of contracting and spreading the virus”.

She joined many of her colleagues in Congress in issuing the appeal for leniency in the treatment of returning Filipinos who have been vaccinated.

The lady solon noted that a study released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that fully vaccinated individuals, particularly with mRNA vaccine, are less likely to have an asymptomatic infection and transmit the coronavirus.

“Those who have been vaccinated with other types have been proven to lower their risk of severe illness due to Covid 19,” she stated.

Taduran added: “Some European countries and USA have eased their travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people. Why are we making it difficult for our own countrymen.” The partylist lawmaker said the IATF and DOH should understand that returning Filipinos are merely visiting their families for a short vacation. Most of them have limited vacation days.

“Most of the returning Filipinos have a limited time of staying here and are already cash-strapped. All they want is to be with their families for a longer time and spend whatever money they have for pasalubong or other necessities,” she stressed.

“I am asking the IATF and the DOH to reconsider this requisite quarantine, especially if the returning Filipino has been fully vaccinated by a WHO-approved Covid 19 vaccine and has no symptoms of the virus upon their return in the country,” Taduran pleaded.

A number of lawmakers, including senators, have also aired the same appeal.