US gov’t issues travel advisory for PH

Marje Pelayo   •   August 10, 2020   •   612

MANILA, Philippines — The United States government has advised its citizens to defer any travel to the Philippines due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the country. 

In a travel advisory, the US Embassy in Manila cited the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) issuance of Level 3 Travel Health Notice due to the high risk of COVID-19 transmission in the country that may affect US nationals. 

The Embassy noted that should any US citizens fall sick in the Philippines, their health might get compromised due to limited resources and medical facilities. 

Apart from the ongoing pandemic, the US government also warned its nationals against the current security concerns in the Philippines.

“Please reconsider traveling to the Philippines due to COVID-19. Additionally, exercise increased caution in the Philippines due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, a measles outbreak, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk,” the Embassy concluded.

Davao City sets fine vs individuals with fake, tampered COVID-19 test results

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 22, 2021

DAVAO, Philippines—Davao City has signed an ordinance imposing fine on individuals using fake or tampered COVID-19 test results.

This was after numerous falsified COVID-19 test results were reported in various airports in Davao City, including Francisco Bangoy International Airport.

The new ordinance states that persons with falsified or tampered test results will face a P5,000 fine.

“Test result and other health verification documents includes, but not limited to, the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction(RT-PCR) test, rapid antigen test, other serologic tests, or any other similar tests that may be used in the future,” the statement reads.

Meanwhile, persons or establishments who shall fabricate any false or tampered result, or shall present themselves as testing centers, without proper authority from the Department of Health will also be penalized with the administrative fee of 5,000 pesos.

Since November 2020, twenty-eight (28) individuals have been caught presenting falsified RT-PCR test results upon their arrival in Davao City airports. AAC

IATF amends protocols, exempts some foreigners from travel ban

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has amended its earlier resolution to exempt some foreigners from a travel ban imposed by the Philippines against the new coronavirus variant, the Malacañang said Friday.

“The IATF amended its earlier resolution, IATF Resolution No 92, on all foreign travelers covered by travel restrictions because of the new COVID-19 variants by specifying those exempted, such as foreign nationals with valid visas, which include personnel of accredited international organizations, and spouse and minor children of Filipino citizens traveling with them,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

“Those who arrive for medical and emergency cases, including their medical escorts, if any, are now subject to applicable testing and quarantine protocols as prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH),” he added.

The country’s travel restriction, which will last until January 31, covers travelers from the following countries:

  • United Kingdom
  • Denmark
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • The Netherlands
  • China (including Hong Kong)
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Lebanon
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • South Korea
  • South Africa
  • Canada
  • Spain
  • United States
  • Portugal
  • India
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Jordan
  • Brazil
  • Austria
  • Pakistan
  • Jamaica
  • Luxembourg
  • Oman
  • UAE
  • Hungary

Meanwhile, from the strict observation of an absolute 14-day facility-based quarantine period for Filipino citizens coming from areas where travel restrictions are in place, Roque said the IATF amended this to prescribed testing and quarantine protocols.

“Further, Filipino citizens arriving for highly exceptional and/or medical reasons and local diplomats are now subject to applicable quarantine protocols as prescribed by the DOH,” he added.

On testing and quarantine protocols for passengers coming from, or transiting through, countries where travel restrictions are in place due to new COVID-19 variants, Roque said that these incoming passengers shall be tested upon arrival and shall be quarantined until the result of the subsequent test administered on the fifth day is released.

DFA consular office in Ali Mall,Cubao temporarily closed until further notice

Marje Pelayo   •   January 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) informs the public that its consular office in Ali Mall, Quezon City (CO NCR-Northeast) will remain closed until further notice.

The closure, which began on Thursday (January 21), was to give way to disinfection of its office premises and implementation of other preventive measures to manage risks against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Affected applicants with confirmed appointments who are unable to avail of consular services due to the suspension of operations must secure another appointment by emailing ncrnortheast.so@dfa.gov.ph with the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Original appointment date and time
  • Preferred date and time of new appointment

The preferred new appointment may be on any working day Monday to Friday from January 25 to February 25, 2021 during the CO’s regular operation hours from 10:00AM to 5:00PM.

Applicants that need emergency or urgent consular services may contact CO NCR-North by email at ncrnortheast.so@dfa.gov.ph.

The DFA requests the public’s understanding and cooperation as we continue to battle against this pandemic.

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