Governors’ group insists on swab test even for fully-vaccinated travelers

Published July 6, 2021, 10:14 AM

by Chito Chavez

The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) has expressed reluctance in permitting fully-vaccinated individuals to freely travel across the country.

In an interview over Dobol B TV, LPP national president and Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr. insisted that the risk of having the disease remains even if a person got vaccinated as it does not guarantee 100 percent protection from the ailment.

“May agam-agam ang ating mga local chief executive lalo sa Liga ng mga Probinsya. Ang laki po ng agam-agam kung tatanggalin ‘yang pag-require ng RT-PCR test o antigen test prior to arrival (of travelers) (The local chief executives especially in the League of Provinces of the Philippines have doubts. There is a big deal of hesitance if the RT-PCR requirement or antigen test will be removed prior to arrival), Velasco said.

An Inter Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) resolution allows full vaccination as an alternative to testing.

Velasco requested the IATF to allow the local government units (LGUs) to retain it own rules on requiring COVID-19 tests for travelers, stressing that conducting only health and exposure screening on fully vaccinated individuals may lapse in identifying an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient.

The national government noted a person is considered fully inoculated if it has been two weeks or more since he or she received the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine and two weeks since receiving a single-dose COVID-19 jab.