May 28, 2024

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has reminded the local government units to comply with the arrival protocols by the national government.

The reminder was contained in the IATF-EID’s Resolution 122 approved on June 17, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“The IATF reiterates the strict enforcement of current testing and quarantine protocols duly approved and issued by the IATF for inbound international travelers in all ports of the country regardless of any specific protocols that may be issued the local government units on the contrary,” Roque, who also serves as IATF-EID spokesperson, said in a press statement.

Member-agencies of the National Task Force Against Covid-19 have been instructed to ensure the LGUs’ strict adherence to the IATF-EID’s arrival protocols, Roque said.

Roque said the specific member-agencies of NTF Against Covid-19, which have been tasked to monitor LGUs include the departments of Local Government, Health, Tourism, Transportation, and Labor; the Bureau of Quarantine, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Philippine National Police, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

He added that they are directed to coordinate with their respective regional offices, attached agencies, and government-owned and controlled corporations.

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Cebu province to follow the IATF-EID’s testing and quarantine protocols for inbound travelers, Roque said.

Duterte’s latest directive came after Malacañang’s order to divert all international flights from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Cebu to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City lapsed on June 12.

On May 27, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea initially issued a memorandum directing the diversion of international flights from MCIA to NAIA from May 29 to June 5 to ensure the proper implementation of the arrival protocols imposed on returning Filipinos in the province.

Medialdea on June 5 issued another memorandum extending the flight diversion on June 12.

On May 31, Duterte met with Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia at Malacañan Palace in Manila to reconcile the IATF-EID and the province’s different protocols against Covid-19.

Cebu earlier implemented a different set of rules for returning Filipinos, which include two reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests within a week and a strict home quarantine due to limited isolation facilities in the province.

On the other hand, the IATF-EID’s existing protocols mandate all arriving passengers, including those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, to stay in a quarantine facility for 10 days and observe home quarantine for another four days.

Inbound passengers are also required to take an RT-PCR on the seventh day of their quarantine. PNA