BATANGAS City — The Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine (DOH-BOQ) the other day discussed new policies regarding quarantine protocols for Filipinos returning from abroad and those traveling abroad.
Interviewed by B’yaheng Kapitolyo, the official radio program of the Batangas Provincial Government, the Station Chief of the Batangas Provincial Quarantine Station of the BOQ, Dr. Masikap De Castro is diligent about the content of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 97, released on January 28, 2021.
According to the resolution, returnees from countries with records of new variants of the COVID-19 virus from South Africa and the United Kingdom will go through stricter policies. This includes the requirement that newcomers to the Philippines be isolated.
De Castro explained that passengers will not immediately undergo swab tests at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport but will be sent to quarantine hotels. On the sixth day of the quarantine, passengers will be subjected to the swab test. This, after the DOH and IATF found that many tested positive after being swabbed on the 6th day.
Passengers who test negative will be allowed to return to their respective towns, along with the corresponding report to the local government units about the returnees.
De Castro said the suspended hotels are obliged to report to the local government units (LGUs) about the status of newcomers to the country, adding that this is being done to ensure the safety of each LGU from the threats of new COVID-19 variants.
Philippine Coast Guard personnel will pick up passengers who will test positive from isolation hotels to be transferred to quarantine facilities.
De Castro told his compatriots who return to the Philippines to increase their patience on the new implementing health policies. Filipino tourists flying out of the country are required by the Bureau of Immigration to have a round-trip ticket and appropriate insurance to ensure medical needs are met, if necessary.