SAN JUAN, Abra – The turismo Isulong Mo Party-list group lauded the decision of the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases to reduce the quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers entering the country to only seven days which will be a big boost in enticing foreign visitors to consider the Philippines as one of their desired destinations that will help in gradually and safely reviving the tourism industry and the economy.
Torismo Isulong Mo 2nd nominee lawyer Marco Bautista pointed out that the recent pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte to immediately reduce the quarantine period of travelers, particularly returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), balikbayans and foreign visitors, to only 7 days will definitely entice people to move around and allow the possible revival of the heavily impacted tourism industry.
However, Bautista urged the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases to continue evaluating and assessing the validity of their earlier proposal to further reduce the quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers to only 5 days which will be one of the major factors in bringing back the vibrance of the country’s tourism industry.
The former 3-term San Juan mayor asserted that there are returning OFWs who are only allowed to take a leave from their employers for only 2 to 3 weeks that is why the prolonged quarantine period for them in the country will definitely be disadvantageous to them as they will have a very limited time to stay with their families before returning to their work abroad.
According to him, if their allowed vacation will be only 2 weeks, then half of their vacation period will be spent in the quarantine hotel which will defeat the purpose of their coming home to stay with their loved ones.
Under the proposal of the Torismo Party-list group, returning OFWs and foreign travelers should already have a negative swab test result from their country of origin and upon arrival in the country, they will undergo the prescribed quarantine. On the 3 day, they will be required to undergo the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test and if the result will still be negative on the 5th day, then they will be allowed to join their families or go to their desired destinations.
Before the adopting of the new guidelines for arriving passengers, the quarantine period for them in the hotel is around 10 days.
Under the old rules, the arriving passengers are mandated to have their RT-PCR test on the 7th day of their quarantine and on the 10th day that they do not possess the symptoms of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), they will be allowed to go to their homes and join their families but they will still have to complete the remaining 4 days of their prescribed 14-day quarantine period.
Bautista emphasized that with the proposed reduction on the quarantine period for arriving passengers, there will be a greater chance for the country’s tourism industry to regain its vibrance the soonest and that foreign travelers and returning OFWs will be convinced to come to the country and help in paving the way for the gradual and safe revival of the heavily impacted economy.
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis