PROTOCOLS for arriving travelers in Negros Occidental, especially a negative RT-PCR result, stays despite the appeals made by the governor to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), said Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz.
"We have made several appeals on this matter but the NIATF wants a uniform travel protocol," Diaz said.
The IATF requires a negative RT-PCR test result valid for 72 hours, which travelers complain is too expensive for them.
Diaz said the province has been willing to provide free RT-PCR tests for arriving travelers and make them stay for 24 hours to the quarantine facilities or hotels and after the negative results are released, they shall immediately be allowed to go home.
Diaz also said that Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson would have wanted to grant the request of the three airline companies that they shall be allowed to have three flights a day.
"PAL, in fact, is willing to drop the plane fares from the prevailing P9,000 plus airfares to P3,000 provided that they shall be allowed to increase flight schedules," Diaz said.
Diaz also said that despite the threat posed by the Delta variant of Covid-19, they are still considering opening the province to leisure travel, although with some conditions to ensure the "safety bubble" of the province remains.
He also hinted at a similar plan for ferry operators plying routes to Negros Occidental.
But Diaz said one of the conditions they are going to forward is for the regular flights or sea trips to only accept vaccinated individuals.
The proposal is also becoming more feasible especially as the IATF plans to roll out the digital vaccination ID, which would enable lesser restrictions for travelers who are already fully vaccinated.
"Subong pa lang gani, may talks na kami na maka accommodate sang 'vaccinated flights' nga ang tanan nga pasahero nabakunahan na, barato ang plete, kag kamo lang gid nga nabakunahan ang maka-sakay, so ang risk level indi na taas, pero ofcourse ara gyapon ang risk," Diaz said.
Diaz said even though vaccinated, people should also remain cautious and is the reason why they still need to enforce the RT-PCR test policy for travelers.