Guv to require swab test, quarantine on returnees again

By Dolly Yasa


BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson is pushing to require returning residents to undergo swab testing and quarantine upon arrival at seaports and airports here.

Lacson said that he will seek approval from the National Inter Agency Task Force for Negros Occidental to revert to the previous health protocol.

The governor made the move after the provincial government discovered the modus operandi of unscrupulous individuals at Manila ports who sell fake negative RT-PCR results to travelers bound for the province.

Eight returning Kabankalan City residents admitted paying a certain amount to secure a negative RT-PCR test results without undergoing swab testing just to comply with the requirements before boarding a plane or ship going to the province, he lamented.

The fake RT-PCR negative result is reportedly sold at P900 each.

“That is why it is better that we should conduct the swab tests here,” Lacson said.

Resolution 101 of the National Inter Agency Task Force states that COVID-19 testing and quarantine are not mandatory for travelers unless the concerned local government units make it a requirement.

While they are implementing the IATF resolution, COVID-19 active cases are surging with the highest at 268 as of March 24 compared to 58 in the previous month, records of the Provincial Incident Management Team (PIMT) showed.

“I hope they allow us to go back to our old protocol,” Lacson said, adding that they will inform IATF of what they have discovered.

Earlier, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz blamed “unrestricted travel” for the surge in COVID cases in the province.