May 23, 2024

Truck drivers and helpers who are not vaccinated may use a negative RT-PCR test result valid for seven days as an access permit to Benguet.
This was agreed upon during the meeting of the League of Associations at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Areas, Inc. and Gov. Melchor Diclas when they discussed the extension of the RT-PCR result validity that used to be valid for 24 hours only. 
Diclas said they have agreed with the seven-day validity since some truck drivers and helpers are hard up in shelling out for the test, which costs from P1,500 to P4,000.
The Provincial Inter Agency Task Force earlier ordered non-Benguet residents, including vegetable traders and truckers, to present a negative RT-PCR or full vaccination card at the border checkpoints.
Benguet truckers group president Rudy Bulawan said they understood the need for the RT-PCR tests.
He said they will convince truck operators to cover for the test of their drivers and helpers who are not Benguet residents.
Hi-land Farmers’ Multipurpose Cooperative Manager Augusta Balanoy said 90 percent of their buyers are from the lowland, which is why the restriction is hard for them.
Balanoy said the 125 trucks that enter the province daily was reduced to 75 due to the stricter border restrictions.
Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong confirmed 52,000 vaccines from the government will be given to the province next week.
Diclas said his office has coordinated with BeGH to ensure PhilHealth covers the cost of RT-PCR test for unvaccinated truckers. – Ofelia C. Empian