Updates awaited as lifting of mandatory RT-PCR banks on DOH vaxcert which is still on ‘pilot launch’

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Updates awaited as lifting of mandatory RT-PCR banks on DOH vaxcert which is still on ‘pilot launch’

Topic |  

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and local government units (LGU) in Bohol are in a race against time to update the nationwide vaccination certificate portal which is still on its “pilot launch” but is needed for the implementation of the province’s long-awaited policy to allow fully vaccinated persons to enter Bohol without the mandatory COVID-19 testing starting October 25.

Governor Art Yap announced the new policy on Friday prompting eager returning residents to check their vaccination status through https://vaxcert.doh.gov.ph, but several netizens expressed dismay after finding out that the portal has not been updated.

Some of those who raised concern over the issue were medical frontliners who were among the first to be vaccinated early this year but were still not on the list.

In his announcement, Yap said persons entering Bohol need to present a vaccination certificate which may be secured through the online portal.


The certificate—which is different from the vaccination card—has a unique QR code to prove that it is authentic.

However, the website indicated that it was still on its pilot launch and supposedly catered only to international travelers as of Saturday morning.

“The portal is currently on pilot launch, focusing on OFW and international travelers. The public launch will be announced soon,” the portal stated.

Falsely claiming to be travelling abroad would allow the applicant to proceed with the process but most ended up being told that “no vaccination record can be found.”

DICT-LGU updates needed

According to Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Anthony Damalerio, applicants may indicate that they are international travelers even if they will only travel domestically to Bohol.


“Og mo abot na sa pangutana na ‘are you travelling abroad,’ mo tubag lang og ‘yes’ mao nay advisory nila bisan pa og you’re not travelling arboad,” Damalerio said in an interview over station dyRD on Friday night.


Damalerio said the DICT was aware of the issue on the lack of updates to the vaccination list and has vowed to work on it before Yap’s Executive Order No. 52, which lifts the RT-PCR testing requirement for fully vaccinated travelers, takes effect on October 25.

The DICT, in turn, asked mayors to submit  their list of vaccinated individuals so they may upload these to the portal.

“Sa tigom ganinang buntag nagsugod to 10 a.m., I think mahuman past 12 noon na, diha man ang taga DICT regional office unya gi-awhag nila ang mga mayors ganiha naka-attend na og pwede paspasan ang pag masterlist og encode sa mga vaccinated individuals sa atong mga lungsod para ma forward sa DICT,” said Damalerio.


The PDRRMO chief added that the DICT noted that LGUs in Bohol were already “60 percent” complete in uploading their list of vaccinated individuals.

However, the data do not account for Boholanos who were vaccinated through LGUs outside of Bohol such as Cebu where a significant number of returning residents are working and staying temporarily.


“Og asa ka na masterlist adto e-upload ang imong vax certificate kung aha na LGU na vaccinate,” said Damalerio.

Travel requirements

According to Damalerio, once an applicant secures a vaccination certificate this will be forwarded to the LGU focal person who in turn will issue the S-Pass travel permit.

A person who is fully vaccinated but is still not on the masterlist at the time of travel to Bohol will still be required to undergo RT-PCR testing 72 hours prior to travelling to the province.

“Unless ma locate na imong vax certificate sa site nila, wa tay choice but to present a negative RT-PCR,” said Damalerio.

Meanwhile, those who are still not fully vaccinated including minors will need to submit a negative result of an RT-PCR test conducted 72 hours prior to travel to Bohol.

Only those aged four and below are exempted from the testing.

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