SENATE Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri has joined Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Senate President Vicente Sotto’s call for relaxed quarantine regulations for fully vaccinated Overseas Filipino Workers seeking to return to the country.
“I think a shortened quarantine period is a reasonable requirement for our vaccinated OFWs. Provided, of course, that they get tested for COVID-19,” Zubiri said.
Cebu has begun enforcing more relaxed protocols for OFWs and other Filipinos returning to the province, with a protracted quarantine of only two or three days, depending on the release of their Covid-19 test done upon arrival.
They will then be allowed to continue their quarantine at home, and a second swab will be carried out by the local government on the seventh day. The Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force are still mandating a 10-day quarantine.
Senate President Sotto has expressed his support for Cebu’s new guidelines.
“With tests coming out quicker these days—some tests can be processed in a day or so—there’s really little reason to still require a full two-week hotel quarantine for vaccinated OFWs. Imbis na makauwi na sila sa mga pamilya nila, mapipilitan pa sila magbayad ng hotel for ten days kahit vaccinated at negative na sila for Covid-19,” Zubiri justified.
“I think as we go along, it’s useful to review our policies and modify them if needed. The pandemic situation is changing, particularly with the ongoing vaccination here and abroad. Naturally our policies will have to change as well.”
“And this particular change in our quarantine protocols will make things so much easier for our OFWs—many of whom I’m sure are really, really looking forward to returning to their families after being unable to do so for over a year now.”
“So I support Cebu’s change in protocols, and I hope we can eventually adopt it in other provinces as well.” (PR)