DSWD resumes distribution of transport allowance to Boracay migrant workers

Marje Pelayo   •   May 1, 2018   •   2593

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) resumed Tuesday, May 1, the distribution of transport cash assistance to migrant workers in Boracay.

The distribution of said transport aid was deferred Saturday, April 28, due to the shortage of cash.

DSWD’s “Balik Probinsya” program grants transport and food allowances to workers who are bound for their respective hometowns following the temporary closure of Boracay Island.

The agency’s one-time financial assistance depends on the regular fare that an individual pays to go back home. The program, however, does not include baggage allowance.

The agency also clarifies that only one person in each family is entitled to the assistance to ensure all beneficiaries will receive the aid.

From more than 17,000 migrant workers in the island, DSWD has granted financial aid to only 2,251 individuals since the closure. DSWD has allotted P500 million pesos for the program. – Lalaine Moreno | UNTV News & Rescue

Boracay tourists charged for forging COVID test results

Marje Pelayo   •   February 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) has filed charges against six Manila-based tourists who were nabbed in January 2021 for falsification of public documents after presenting fake COVID-19 swab test results in an attempt to enter Boracay Island.

Marc Judicpa of the DOT Region VI-Boracay Field and Compliance Monitoring Office (BFCMO) filed the complaint against the errant tourists.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo said such legal action should serve as warning to others and stressed that the agency will continue to be vigilant to ensure that these collaborative interventions will deter entry of such delinquent and unwanted visitors in the enforcement of existing health and safety protocols.

The DOT welcomes the directive from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to the Philippine National Police (PNP) to execute the arrest and prosecution of individuals who are forging their RT-PCR tests. 

The DILG reiterated that it is a crime punishable under Republic Act (RA) No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act which provides for penalties of P20,000 but not more than P50,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.   

Furthermore, the DOT draws emphasis to the importance of tightening the registration procedure for tourists to curb the spread of COVID-19 and other variants.

These involve, among others, validation of the submitted COVID test results and hotel bookings before a QR code is given for validation at ports of entry.   

“In anticipation of the further relaxation of regulations governing inter- and intra-regional movements, the LGUs should be prepared to address an increase in the number of applications and visits.  Enforcement is key and we must all do our share in keeping Boracay safe,” the Secretary added.   

Boracay received 11,898 visitors in January 2021 alone, with an average 300 to 400 tourists a day.   

Meanwhile, the DOT Region VI-BFCMO will continue to work closely with the local government units (LGUs) of Aklan and Malay to ensure enforcement of minimum health and safety protocols at the DOT-accredited accommodation establishments (AEs) and other tourism enterprises (TEs) and in the island, in general.

Boracay tourists who forge COVID-19 tests will be declared persona non grata, LGU warns

Robie de Guzman   •   February 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Malay, Aklan on Thursday threatened to declare as persona non grata Boracay tourists who fake their COVID-19 test results.

Malay Acting Mayor Frolibar Bautista issued the warning after three of six visitors who presented fake COVID-19 tests were found to be infected with the viral respiratory disease.

The three patients are already placed under quarantine and will be facing charges for violation of quarantine protocols, he added.

Bautista said the local government will pass a resolution declaring those who fake their COVID-19 test results as persona non grata and will no longer be allowed entry to the island.

Local authorities are also looking into proposals for hotels to verify guests’ COVID-19 tests before confirming their bookings.

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Authorities file charges vs. 6 tourists in Boracay for faking COVID-19 test results

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Six tourists visiting Boracay are facing charges for faking their COVID-19 test results.

Police authorities apprehended the six individuals after confirming that five out of the six real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test test results were forged. The tourists arrived on December 5 and were supposed to leave the island Tuesday (December 8).

Authorities also said charges will be filed in violation of Republic Act No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health events of Public Health Concern Act.

The said individuals are now at the provincial quarantine facility in Kalibo and will undergo a 14-day quarantine. They have also undergone swab tests to confirm their health status.

Meanwhile, the police warned other tourists who are considering forging their COVID-19 test results, that they would face similar charges if they do so. AAC

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