By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Bacolod City’s Local Inter-Agency Task Force (LIATF) opted to retain the 72-hour negative RT-PCR test requirement for travelers entering the city, even though the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) has already relaxed the travel restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals.
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, chairman of the city’s LIATF, explained that the city is not yet prepared to accept the entry of fully vaccinated travelers.
He pointed out the city does not yet have a solid safety net which would determine if a traveler entering the city has an authentic or fake vaccination card.
He pointed out if there are cases that the RT-PCR test results are being faked, there is also a high chance that vaccination cards could also be faked.
Earlier, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson issued an executive order which relaxed the entry of travelers into the province who are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Instead of the 72-hour negative RT-PCR test result, fully vaccinated travelers are only required to show their COVID-19 vaccination card via the S-PaSS system.
Vaccinated individuals, including senior citizens, will also no longer be required to undergo swab tests upon arrival in the province’s port of entry.
Although voluntary, arriving travelers in Negros Occidental were previously encouraged to get a swab test, as well as undergo voluntary quarantine while waiting for their test result.
The province has also opted to retain the executive order despite the clarification from the Department of Health (DOH) that Resolution No. 101 issued by the NIATF would remain in effect.
As part of new relaxed travel guidelines for vaccinated individuals, the provincial government will start launching today the QR code for fully vaccinated Negrenses as a basis to check the authenticity of their claims that they are fully vaccinated./DGB, WDJ