Individuals entering Bohol whose negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test’s three-day validity has expired due to cancelled flights or boat trips are now allowed to present instead a negative result from the cheaper rapid antigen test (RAT).
The new policy was imposed through Executive Oder No. 28 which was signed by Governor Art Yap on May 23, 2021, amending EOs 17 and 17-A.
According to Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Anthony Damalerio, the measure is intended to avoid additional financial burden to persons entering Bohol.
A RAT costs around a third of the P-3,500 RT-PCR test.
Based on previous EOs, a negative RT-PCR test is only valid for use in entering Bohol for three days after its release.
“Ang kanang ma delayed ang barko or ma cancelled ang flight na makaingon na mo expire ang 72 hours validity. E-require nato sila og rapid antigen test, kay mura’g mahal man pud ang PCR test, unya dili pud sa nila na ngano na delay or cancel ang flights,” said Damalerio.
Damalerio said that the local government unit (LGU) focal persons who are tasked to oversee the entry of arriving individuals have been instructed to verify claims of cancelled or delayed trips.
Earlier, the provincial government received complaints regarding the payment for multiple RT-PCR tests due to cancelled trips prompting Yap to issue the new measure.
“Daghang clamor ana ang niabot sa buhatan ni governor or sa BIATF (Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force) na dili lagi pud sayop nila kay naay daghan sa Leyte or sa Manila na ma-cancel ang PAL or AirAsia,” Damalerio said. (R. Tutas)