Press Release
June 17, 2021

Pangilinan wants govt to shoulder swab testing of all inbound passengers

THE national government should shoulder the cost of swab tests requirements for all inbound passengers, especially returning Filipinos, to spare them from incurring additional expenses, Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan said Thursday.

The senator pointed out that people are already financially burdened by the pandemic and requiring them to shell out hard-earned money for testing is unwarranted.

Also, Pangilinan said private testing companies -- and their corrupt backers in government -- seem to be profiting from the said requirement, at the expense of the public.

"Bakit hinahayaan ng gobyerno na pinagkakakitaan ang proteksyon sa ating kalusugan?" Pangilinan asked.

"Mas mainam na sagutin na ng pamahalaan ang swab test ng lahat ng inbound passengers, lalo na ng ating OFWs, para mabawasan ang kanilang pinansiyal na pasanin," he added.

Pangilinan said the national government should follow the lead of Cebu province, which provides free swab tests to returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs).

Earlier, Pangilinan backed the Cebu provincial government's double-swabbing policy for ROFs, saying the process should be implemented nationwide.

"I believe it is an efficient and cost-effective way of managing the spread of the virus given the current situation. It is worth adapting as a national policy," Pangilinan said in an earlier statement.

The Cebu Provincial Board passed an Ordinance that does away with mandatory 14-day facility quarantine for ROFs following a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test result upon arrival in Cebu.

The swab test shall be free of charge and shall be made upon arrival in the province. Pending the results of the test, the returning overseas Filipino passenger shall be transferred to a pre-booked hotel for quarantine.

If the test is negative, passengers will be allowed to continue their 14-day quarantine at home, where they will be tested on the seventh day from the arrival.

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