Sunday, June 13, 2021

Editorial: A quick guide on Davao Region's, Davao City's RT-PCR test requirement

AMONG the increased border control in Davao Region is the requirement of a negative RT-PCR test result. At present, the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) and Davao City have existing regulations on this. Here is a rundown of these policies.

First we have the RIATF-RTF-Davao Resolution 01 series of 2021.

This policy covers LGUs in Davao Region -- Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao Occidental, and Davao City -- that share a border with towns or cities in other regions.

According to the resolution, which was approved by the members of the RIATF and the Regional Task Force Against Covid-19 (RTF) on May 3, a negative RT-PCR test will be required for lad travelers who are tourists that are not residents of Davao Region and returning residents who are non-authorized person outside residence (non-Apor).

At present, the policy has yet to be adopted by LGUs in Davao Region that share borders with other regions. Department of the Interior and Local Government-Davao (DILG-Davao) director Alex Roldan said it will be the LGUs that will set the date of effectivity through an Executive Order.

Roldan pointed out yesterday that regulations like these prevent the entry of non-essential travelers and non-essential movement.

He clarified those who are Apors and with essential transactions or errands will not need to present a negative RT-PCR result. This means that if you are entering Davao Region for essential reasons like business, work, or medical, among others mentioned in the resolution, you will not be required to present a negative RT-PCR test.

Meanwhile, the City Government of Davao has two policies on RT-PCR test requirement. At present, the RT-PCR test is only being required from air and land travelers coming from Cebu and the National Capital Region Plus (NCR Plus), which covers Metro Manila and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

For air travelers, it is covered by Davao City Ordinance 0477-21, “An Ordinance Providing For Mandatory Testing Prior To Entry Into Davao City Via The Davao International Airport”. For land travelers coming from Cebu and NCR Plus, including those who landed in other airports of Mindanao from these areas, are covered by Executive Order 12-A, which took effect on March 24, 2021.

The negative RT-PCR test requirements of Davao City were implemented following the spike in Covid-19 cases in NCR Plus and Cebu.

For intra-regional movement, which is the movement of people and goods within the region, an RT-PCR test is not required. This means that if you are traveling from Panabo City to Davao City or Digos City to Malita, you do not need an RT-PCR test. However, you are subjected to pre-existing regulations like QR codes for some LGUs or the health check-up at the borders of Davao City.

The border control measure is just among the measures that are seen to prevent a surge of Covid-19 cases in Davao Region and Davao City.


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