Davao International Airport temporarily suspends RT-PCR tests

Marje Pelayo   •   January 15, 2021   •   294

MANILA, Philippines — Arriving Davaoeños will not be required to take a free Real-Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (RT-PCR) test upon arrival at the Davao International Airport (DIA), for now.

This was confirmed by Davao City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) head Generose Tecson on Thursday (January 14) saying the city government temporarily suspended the procedure to prioritize a much important measure.

“We are redirecting our resources to address the local transmission since this is the highest in the list of cases now and will resume testing once our Los Amigos COVID-19 Laboratory will start operations,” she said.

She urged neighboring local government units (LGUs) to pick up their locally stranded individuals (LSIs) at DIA.

“Panawagan sa mga LGU especially to pick up their LSIs. From outside Davao City, we don’t allow na hindi sila sunduin,” Tecson said.

The official added that non-Davao City flight passengers may still exit the airport even without the RT-PCR negative test as long as their LGUs will fetch them and they can present other needed documents.

She also said that arriving passengers with negative RT-PCR tests taken within 24 to 72 hours before their scheduled flights to the city are prioritized for exit from the DIA after checking their health declaration forms (HDFs).

For Davao City residents without negative RT-PCR test results to show, the city tourism chief said, “We check HDF and papers. We make sure they follow the requirements. We take note of the vehicles they ride on, especially PUVs. They are given their health monitoring forms because they have to check-in with their BHERTS (Barangay Health Emergency Response Team). The 14- day home quarantine is mandatory.”

Once the Los Amigos COVID-19 Laboratory is fully operational, she said the free RT-PCR testing at DIA will resume.

“We’re just waiting for the permit ng labs natin,” she said.

As of January 13, Davao City has recorded a total of 1,376  active COVID-19 cases; 8,110 recoveries, and 468 deaths from the overall total of 9,954 confirmed positive cases since 2020.

DOLE, DTI mandate regular COVID-19 tests for workers

Marje Pelayo   •   August 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said that workers in several sectors will be required to undergo regular real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

The said measure, which took effect Saturday (August 15), is contained in the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04 series of 2020, or DTI and DOLE Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19.

It aims at preventing the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in workplaces, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

It covers all workers in the hospitality and tourism sectors, manufacturing companies, including frontline and economic priority employees.

The Secretary emphasized, however, that the tests must be administered free of charge.

“The COVID-19 testing must be at no cost to the employees,” he said.

“This is so far the most comprehensive set of guidelines for the safety and protection of workers and employees in workplaces. The strict observance of these health protocols will make a big  difference in our long-drawn battle to defeat Covid 19 and ensure the productivity of the Filipino workforce,” he added.

Specifically identified to undergo the RT–PCR test include workers in:

  • tourist zones
  • local manufacturing companies
  • transport and logistics
  • food retail
  • education
  • financial services
  • non-food retail services
  • public market
  • construction
  • water supply
  • sewerage and waste management
  • public sector
  • mass media

The joint memorandum covers all establishments, projects, sites, including establishments located inside special economic zones and other investment promotion agencies, and all other places where work is being undertaken in all branches of economic activity, except in the public sector.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) said it still need to clarify the details of the memorandum with DOLE. 

According to ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., about 90% of businesses in the country are micro enterprises and about 50% of them have already closed.

ECOP said these enterprises might decide to permanently close due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 

“Even nga iyong small matters like face mask and face shield, issue pa rin sa ibang kumpanya. Napakaliit na bagay noon. Iyong testing pa ba [Even the small matters like face masks and face shield remain an issue with other companies. Those are actually small items. How much more with the (RT-PCR) testing],” Luis concluded. MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)

Davao Int’l Airport resumes domestic flights June 8

Marje Pelayo   •   June 8, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Davao International Airport reopened on Monday (June 8) for domestic flights but under strict health safety protocols. 

Locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) are required to present a medical certificate and travel pass from the Philippine National Police (PNP) upon check in.

Overseas Filipino workers (OFW), meanwhile, are required to present their Bureau of Quarantine certificate, proof of residence, valid passport and medical test result.

Business travellers and those considered as authorized persons outside residence (APOR) will be asked to present either a certificate of employment or company ID along with a medical certificate and a PNP travel pass.

Leisure trips or tours are still not allowed. 

Pregnant women, passengers who are 21 years old and below, and seniors who are 70 years old and above will not be allowed to board.

As part of the safety protocols, passengers will be required to go through a sanitation booth and thermal scanning at the entrance of the airport terminal. 

Physical distancing is strictly being implemented with the airport premises and inside the aircraft thus only a limited number of passengers will be accommodated. MNP (with reports from Mirasol Montaño)

Skillfully concealed banned items intercepted at Davao Airport

Marje Pelayo   •   February 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A departing passenger was nabbed at Davao International Airport while attempting to sneak in sharp objects past airport screening.

Personnel from the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) found two pieces of nipper and a nail pusher skillfully concealed inside a pomelo fruit on Monday (February 10.)

The x-ray operator Security Screening Officer (SSO) Rolando Pait detected the items after a suspicious image appeared on the x-ray screen.

The owner of the item, identified as Dioleta Barapon, was bound for Cebu via Cebu Pacific flight 5J 598.

According to Barapon, she intentionally hid the items inside the fruit as she considers them her prized possession.

OTS Administrator Usec. Raul Del Rosario warns passengers not to even attempt smuggling illegal items because it may put them in peril.

“Huwag po nating gagawin yung mga ganyan, dahil madedetect po natin yan. Remember, we have procured new and advanced technologies. Gone are the days when we can circumvent security screening procedures by artful concealment,” Del Rosario said.

“Maaari po kayong mapahamak o maabala, dahil baka po mapagkamalan na kayo po ay may hindi magandang intensyon sa pagtatago ng mga prohibited items papasok ng eroplano,” he added.

Del Rosario reminds all passengers to check their luggage before their scheduled flights and make sure no illegal item is inside their bag.

It is also safe to pack your own luggage, Del Rosario added.

Information on prohibited items may be viewed at the agency’s website www.ots.gov.ph and official Facebook page.

The incident was properly recorded and the item was properly discharged as part of the agency’s standard operating procedure.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.