BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Despite the announcement of the Department of Health that Covid-19 tests may still be required for fully vaccinated tourists upon entry to quarantine control points, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said yesterday that Executive Order 21-34 issued by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson that adopts the guidelines and protocols of the National Inter-Agency Task Force for fully vaccinated individuals, remains in effect.
The IATF, in Resolution 124-B, eased the rules on the interzonal travel of fully-vaccinated persons. It states that travelers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are only required now to present proof of complete vaccination instead of swab test results.
The DOH issued a different guideline on Wednesday that states that the RT-PCR negative test results may still be required for fully vaccinated tourists.
Diaz said that the EO issued by Lacson already took effect and being implemented, adding that about 50 fully vaccinated travelers, who submitted vaccination cards in applying for S-Pass approval on Wednesday, were allowed entry to Negros Occidental.
“Unless there is a directive from the Department of Interior and Local Government or National IATF requiring us to withdraw EO 21-345, we will implement it,” Diaz said.
While they are stepping up their measures against the submission of fraudulent documents, Diaz said it will not stop the provincial government from implementing it.
He also announced that they will launch a QR code on Monday for fully vaccinated Negrenses.
“It will be our basis to check the authenticity and validity of their claims that they have been fully vaccinated,” Diaz said.
He also said that the NIATF resolution allowing interzonal travel of fully vaccinated persons has not been withdrawn. “So, we believe that EO 21-34 is still in harmony with the NIATF resolution,” Diaz added.
“This is to give incentives to our people who join the government vaccination program,” he also said.
PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar ordered police commanders yesterday to continue implementing the existing protocols that have been issued by the IATF to avoid confusion, amid ongoing discussions on the new policy.*