By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The provincial government of Negros Occidental yesterday announced that it will start easing travel restrictions this month for fully vaccinated individuals.
Travelers who are fully vaccinated with authenticated Quick Response (QR) IDs are now allowed to enter the province without a negative RT-PCR test result.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II, citing the executive order issued by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, said travelers would still be required to register via the S-PaSS system, wherein they would be given the option to either post their negative RT-PCR test result or their vaccination card.
All the vaccination cards should be reflected in the provincial Management Information System or the vaccination portal of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT).
“We want to accept people who are fully vaccinated with authenticated cards to avoid the proliferation of fake vax cards,” Diaz explained.
Provincial officials have previously expressed concern that vaccination cards can easily be faked.
“The vaccination cards are easy to forge, that’s why you need to have a QR-coded ID to avail of the privilege of not presenting a negative RT-PCR test result,” Diaz said.
He also said that the travel protocol has already been approved by the National Inter-Agency Task Force.
Meanwhile, Bacolod City Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran over the weekend said Mayor Evelio Leonardia is already in the process of creating an executive order which also aims to ease the travel requirements for Bacolod-bound travelers.
Familiaran pointed out among the proposals is to no longer require a negative RT-PCR test for fully vaccinated individuals.
He further added the easing of travel restrictions would further open up the city’s economy.
In response to the latest easing of travel restrictions in the province, Cebu Pacific Air announced that they will gradually start returning regular passenger flights between Manila-Bacolod, and Cebu-Bacolod routes.
In an online press conference last week, the airline announced that it will gradually increase its frequencies at the said routes depending on the current COVID-19 situation in the country.
Travelers heading to destinations in Negros Occidental (except Bacolod City) are only required to secure a travel coordination permit via the S-PaSS system, and complete registration to StaySafe.ph./DGB, WDJ