Manila Philippines mask covid
People wearing face masks and face shields as protection from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) queue outside a newly reopened historical site, in Manila, Philippines, February 18, 2021. Image Credit: Reuters

Manila: The Duterte administration is considering a decision to scrap the requirement for travel authority and medical certificates all over the country, a senior government official said Tuesday.

A decision has not been finalised, but the government is finding ways to harmonise safety protocols to help boost local travel and tourism, Epimaco Densing III, Undersecretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) told ABS-CBN Teleradyo.


“We want to remove travel authority and local health certificates — because they are irrelevant. Our policemen would focus on issuance of travel authority instead of implementing peace and order,” the official told the radio station in Filipino language.

“Second, the city health certificate is not relevant anymore especially because if it was issued three days prior to travel, it has no relevance. I still might get infected with COVID-19 along the way,” the official added.

But Densing said these are “subject for discussions” as they will soon harmonise all travel policies in local government units (LGUs) to boost tourism.

Boost for tourism

“There are some confusions but since we have the government and IATF (Interagency Task Force) policy that we need to slowly ease travel restrictions for purposes of tourism, we need to have common protocols,” he added.

Earlier, Densing said they are considering to scrap the requirement to undertake swab test before travel protocols for all LGUs.

Terminal-to-terminal assessment

He said they will instead require travellers to undertake clinical assessment at the terminal of origin and terminal of destination.

To prevent community transmission in their areas, LGUs are requiring negative COVID-19 test results, medical clearances and travel passes.

Cebu eases travel protocols

Cebu already eased its travel protocols by completely scrapping COVID-19 test requirements for visitors, according to a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.