December 6, 2022

Those who have been fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 should be given premium.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong has proposed allowing individuals who have received complete doses of anti-Covid vaccine to travel without restrictions to help spur economic recovery.

The mayor said in his regular briefing on June 2 that a technical working group (TWG) was created after he raised the suggestion to National Task Force (NTF) Covid-19 head and Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana during a recent meeting of the task force clusters.

The NTF-TWG is expected to come up with the guidelines to be submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases for approval.

Magalong said among other benefits of being vaccinated, it is high time for fully inoculated individuals against Covid-19 to be allowed unhampered travel both in local and international areas to help the economy to recover.

The city is expecting increased tourist traffic after it again started accepting travelers from the NCR plus, which reverted to general community quarantine status as per IATF guidelines for June. NCR plus areas make up majority of the city’s tourists.

“The intention is to put premium on vaccinated individuals, who mostly are drivers of the economy, so pabayaan na natin silang bumiyahe. What is important is for them to have with them the vaccination documents that would serve as a proof they have been vaccinated with two doses,” Magalong said.

His suggestion is to allow vaccinees to travel three weeks after they received their second dose to assure that their immunity are fully in place. Once fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to move around unhampered, they will no longer have to undergo triage but will just have to show their vaccination documents.

The policy shall require a system of storing data of vaccinees in a central depository and coming up with user-friendly applications that will be used to scan QR or cryptocodes, which will prove the vaccination document is authentic.

“It is important that we can prove that the vaccination document is legitimate, as this may encourage criminals to produce fake documents, so there should be a way of checking it and the only way to do it is to come up with a code system that will be difficult to copy,” Magalong, who is also the country’s contract tracing head, said.

In the meantime while the guidelines are being crafted, he said vaccinated or not, travelers entering the city have to follow the same registration and triage procedures either as returning residents, tourists, or travelling for essential purposes. – Hanna C. Lacsamana