December 6, 2022

Practically anybody may now go to Baguio City for any purpose without a negative Covid-19 test result, a requirement the city government has decided to remove following the issuance of the new travel protocols for travelers by the national Inter-agency Task Force on Feb. 26.
But any traveller who shows symptoms of the Covid-19, upon arrival in the city, will have to undergo RT-PCR test and will be quarantined until results are released.
Atty. Althea Alberto, City Mayor’s Office executive assistant, made the clarification after many were confused when the IATF, while issuing “uniform or standard” travel protocols for all local government units, stated travelers will no longer be required to undergo Covid-19 testing except if the local government unit of destination shall require testing prior to travel.”
Alberto explained while Covid-test is no longer required, an LGU may require the same.
She said the city has decided not to require RT-PCR test in the meantime not just to boost local economy, but also for the sake of many Baguio residents who frequently travel back and forth to nearby provinces for work and are burdened of the cost of Covid test every time they travel.
While not speaking for other LGUs, Alberto said some LGUs may be constrained to ask for more requirements such as RT-PCR test for the protection of their communities because they do not have or are not as equipped with needed health facilities to adjust to a surge in Covid cases if it happens.
For Baguio, the city government has issued an executive order complying with the IATF Resolution 101, which removed the requirement for travel authority issued by the Philippine National Police, medical certificate/clearance, RT-PCR testunless an LGU requires it prior to travel, and quarantine for asymptomatic travellers.
Rules that have been retained for all LGUs are health assessment at the point of destination and triage according to traveler classification. Minimum public health standards must be observed throughout the trip.
Baguio is also retaining its requirements for different types of residents and non-residents to register online in the and for tourists to register at the Baguio VISITA online platform, as well as documentary requirements for workers and those with official business in the city.
The city has also prepared separate guidelines for BLISTT travelers effective March 5. Alberto said they are discussing with concerned LGUs the possibility of also having online HDF registration for BLISTT residents where they could get a QR code valid for 15 days and renewable thereafter to present at border checkpoints before entry to the city, although they still have the option of using a manual HDF which is valid on a daily basis.
Alberto has reminded with the eased travel restrictions, all – residents and tourists – must brace for its impacts in the coming days and therefore must observe and respect at all times the minimum health standards and help in reporting those violating rules and regulations. – Hanna C. Lacsamana