The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) respects the decision of provinces like Bohol to require all inbound travelers to submit a negative COVID-19 test result to gain entry into their areas of responsibility even after the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) allowed fully vaccinated persons to travel freely within the country without testing requirements.
This was according to a statement issued Wednesday by the office of Governor Art Yap following a meeting among DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, the governor, members of the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force, mayors and other local government officials at the New Capitol Building in Tagbilaran City.
“Gi-klaro ni Usec. Densing sa maong meeting nga gi-respesto sa kaulohang ahensya ang mga probinsya nga nagpatuman sa istriktong pagpatuman ug negative test result para ma-proteksyonan ang katawhan sa lalawigan bisan pa ug nagpagawas na ang National IATF sa Resolution 124-B miaging Hulyo 2 diin pwede na nga mubyahe ang mga “fully vaccinated individual” nga dili na muagi ug RT-PCR test,” the Office of the Governor said.
The DILG is one of over 20 agencies that comprise the national IATF.
Densing clarified that all local government units (LGU) are mandated to observe the IATF’s Resolution 124-B which abolishes the need for COVID-19 testing for fully vaccinated individuals in their interzonal travel.
However, LGUs may temporarily “delay” the enforcement of the resolution pending an assurance from national authorities that vaccination cards will not be prone to falsification and forgery.
“Magpagawas ang DILG ug anunsyo sa umaabot nga adlaw kabahin sa National Bakuna Card Verification System para masiguro nga walay makipahimus sa maong polisiya,” Yap’s office said.
Earlier, Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force spokesperson Dr. Yul Lopez earlier said that the possible submission of “fake” vaccination cards are among the top factors which prompted the BIATF to continue requiring RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) testing for inbound travelers.
“There is a big concern on the assurance that vaccination cards are genuine and not fake. Kung malutsan ang LGU, dakong problema ky laktod wala na man gyud testing upon entry,” Lopez said.
According to Lopez, members of the BIATF health cluster including doctors and health experts also raised concern over the possibility of fully vaccinated individuals to still be carriers of the contagious respiratory disease.
“Experts say that even fully vaccinated persons can still get infected by COVID. So pwede pa diay ma carrier na pod,” he added.