Press Release
June 15, 2021


Following his recommendation for the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to reconsider the current protocols for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and returning overseas Filipinos, Senator Richard J. Gordon officially recommended to IATF a set of rules for fully vaccinated returning OFWs, Philippine residents, foreign tourists and foreign businessmen on Monday.

In a letter addressed to Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr., Chief Implementer of the IATF, Gordon proposed that "all incoming OFWs and returning Philippine residents who have been fully vaccinated abroad or in the Philippines, meaning whose arrival is 14 days or more after receiving the second dose of a vaccine which has been properly documented/certified, be sent directly for home quarantine for a period of seven (7) days and then tested for COVID-19 by RT-PCR on the fifth to seventh day."

He said that the passenger will only be allowed to interact with other people in their household and community once a negative test has been secured, and that strict observance of safety protocols, such as wearing of face masks, frequent handwashing and social distancing, must still be practiced during and after the quarantine period.

Gordon stressed that requiring the OFWs a 14-day quarantine "will cause a drain on their resources and take away from the time they are planning to spend with their families from whom they have already been separated for years."

"I, therefore, urge you to consider the above recommendation in order to help alleviate the financial and emotional expense to our people during these trying times," Gordon stated in the letter.

Seeing the potential of the tourism industry in helping the economy recover from the pandemic, Gordon recommended that once fully vaccinated foreign tourists and businessmen are allowed to enter the country, they must be required to submit negative RT-PCR test results taken 48 hours prior to their flight and then undergo five (5) days of hotel quarantine upon arrival.

They must be tested for COVID-19 on the third or fifth day of their isolation and they may be released immediately upon receipt of negative results.

Gordon noted that such proposal is still stricter than what is being practiced in other countries like the United States, wherein fully vaccinated air travelers are required to have a negative SARS-CoV-2 viral test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the US, and merely recommends international travelers to get a SARS-CoV-2 viral test 3-5 days after travel regardless of vaccination status. Fully vaccinated travelers are also not required to self-quarantine in the U.S. following international travel.

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