THE Davao City Government will strictly require travelers from the "National Capital Region plus (NCR+)" area and the entire island of Cebu, including those who landed in other airports of Mindanao and coming from the mentioned areas, to undergo reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.
This is in accordance with the issued Executive Order (EO) 12-A or "An Order Providing For Updated Covid-19 Protocols In Davao City."
Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio signed EO 12-A on March 24 and it will take effect at 12:01 a.m. of Friday, March 26.
Section 11 of EO 12-A, which adopted the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Resolution 101 Series of 2021, added the following provisions from the first issued EO 12 signed by the mayor on March 12.
This includes, "All land travelers from the ‘National Capital Region plus (NCR+)’ area and the entire island of Cebu, including those who landed in other airports of Mindanao from these areas, are required to undergo reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing if they don't have Covid-19 negative test result taken within 24 to 72 hours of their trip to Davao City."
The City is currently implementing a "test before travel" policy imposed to all arriving travelers in the Francisco Bangoy International Airport, also known as the Davao International Airport.
The policy is in accordance to the Davao City Ordinance 0477-21 Series of 2021 entitled, "An Order Providing For Mandatory Testing Prior To Entry Into Davao City Via The Davao International Airport."
In addition, the guide for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), including seamen shall be those that are issued by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa).
The EO also states that travelers who are permanently returning to the city are mandated to conduct self-quarantine for 14 days.
However, authorized persons outside residence (Apors) and other travelers staying in the city for work or business need not undergo quarantine but they should stay in hotels, dorms, and similar establishments and not in the houses of Davao City residents.
The new provisions are in addition to the general requirements for all travelers, regardless of the mode of transportation.
Upon arrival, passengers must pass the symptom screening where travelers exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms will be held for testing in a city government facility.
In accordance to the IATF resolution, aside from the mandatory RT-PCR test and presenting their valid Safe Davao QR (DQR), the airport monitoring team will not be asking for other travel documents.
Duterte-Carpio said in a recent radio interview that the city is reimposing the mandatory RT-PCR requirement for air travelers as a preventive measure against the ongoing surge of Covid-19 cases in NCR and Cebu, which are reportedly linked to the detection of the "infectious" new variants.
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the creation of a Covid-19 “bubble” in NCR and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal effective Monday, March 22, as part of efforts to control transmission of the infectious disease.
Only essential travel into and out of the areas mentioned will be allowed from March 22 to April 4. Air and sea travel to and from Metro Manila will still be allowed, but only for essential travelers.
Duterte-Carpio said reimposing the mandatory testing is a prevention against the possible "second wave" of Covid-19 case surge, likely to be attributed to air travel.
“We will try to prevent a second wave for Davao City. And gi-unhan na nato na sa implementation sa ordinance nga kinahanglan duna kay (And we do this by implementing an ordinance that requires passengers to secure) 24 to 72 hours negative RT-PCR result para ka maka check-in sa (for you to check-in at the) airport," the mayor said in an interview on Monday, March 22.
Liquor ban, curfew extended
Under EO 12-A, Duterte-Carpio extended the liquor ban and curfew until May 31.
Section 20 of the EO states that curfew time in all public places is 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. every day, except for those who work or do business during these hours.
The liquor ban in all public places shall still take effect 24 hours every day.
The lifting of curfew and liquor ban was supposedly set on March 31.
But the mayor had earlier said that removing the ban on alcoholic beverages and curfew would only encourage movement of people and social gatherings, which are vulnerable to the Covid-19 transmission.
Davao City is currently under general community quarantine until March 31. The IATF has yet to decide its quarantine status for next month.
But whatever the city's quarantine status, Duterte-Carpio said the city will continue to intensify its community monitoring amid the continuing downtrend of cases.