Pandemic task force allows LGUs to require COVID-19 tests

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 9) — The Inter-Agency Task Force on Friday said local government units can still require travelers to present negative swab test results even though they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

"LGUs retain the discretion if they will require RT-PCR testing or COVID-19 vaccination cards for interzonal travel," the pandemic task force said in a statement.

The IATF earlier approved Resolution No. 124-B, which states that fully vaccinated individuals regardless of age need not present swab test results if they want to travel within the Philippines, and will only need to present their vaccination card for interzonal travel or movement.

READ: IATF releases protocols for fully vaccinated individuals

But the Department of Health said on Wednesday there were concerns raised by some LGUs.

"As we iron out the operational concerns raised by some implementers, IATF Resolution No. 101 remains in effect, which affords the LGUs the flexibility to require a negative RT-PCR result before granting anyone entry to their locality," the agency said.

In a virtual briefing Friday, Department of the Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary Odilon Pasaraba said that the IATF is studying the possibility of unifying vaccination cards.

The DOH also said that the Department of Information and Communications Technology is already working on a uniform vaccination certificate format.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DICT's initial plan is to launch a mobile application where a person's vaccination record may be verified through a QR code.

But in an interview with CNN Philippines' Balitaan, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines President Gov. Dakila Cua said the province is targeting to require travellers to provide an "early advice" if they plan to enter other localities.

"If the (DICT) system is already up, ipapasok lang namin yung pangalan niya, malalaman na naming vaccinated. Pagdating sa checkpoint dapat naka-appear na," he said.

[Translation: If the (DICT) system is already up, we will just input the name to know if the person is already vaccinated. The data should appear at the checkpoint.]