All arriving Filipinos and foreigners to undergo mandatory testing, quarantine

Filipinos and foreigners arriving in the Philippines will be required to undergo testing and quarantine in government-supervised facilities as part of efforts to quell the spread of the coronavirus. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) advised all arriving passengers of international flights to take note of the mandatory measures, which were implemented following the coronavirus task force's Resolution No. 30 signed last April 29.

What to expect: Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who is also spokesperson for the task force, said on Monday, May 11, that these procedures from the Department of Health will be followed: 

  • After arrival, the Bureau of Quarantine will orient all Filipinos and foreigners. Passengers will then go to a "one-stop shop" to fill out pertinent documents. 
  • After this, swabs for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests will be taken. Filipinos and foreigners will then be brought to a facility for quarantine for about 2 to 5 days, where they will be monitored while waiting for test results.
  • Once results are available, individuals who tested positive will be referred to hospitals for treatment or will be made to complete longer quarantine. 
  • If results are negative, individuals will be released and ferried by either the Department of Transportation or their respective local government units to their planned destinations.

Funding quarantine: Roque said the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will pay for the costs of operating quarantine facilities for overseas Filipino workers.

Overseas Filipinos and foreigners will have to shoulder their own expenses in quarantine facilities. 

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation also earlier announced it would shoulder the cost of Filipinos' coronavirus testing.

Inbound international charter and commercial flights had been allowed to land at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) starting May 11.

Inbound international chartered flights with clearance from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will only be allowed to land on Mondays and Thursdays, while inbound international commercial flights will be allowed to fly in on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

International commercial flights will need to secure approval from CAAP 48 hours before the scheduled departure from the airport of origin, as NAIA is limiting the number of passengers arriving per day. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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