Davao, Zamboanga mayors scrap RT-PCR test requirement

Dennis Jay Santos
Davao, Zamboanga mayors scrap RT-PCR test requirement

A nurse undergoes swabbing of specimen for a sample to test for COVID-19 in Mandaluyong City on April 16, 2020, to monitor conditions of health workers. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

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The cities of Davao and Zamboanga ease travel rules in their respective areas

Davao Mayor Sara Duterte on Monday, November 15, scrapped the  reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test requirement for all inbound travelers in the city.

Mayor Duterte issued Executive Order No. 66, stating, “No document shall be required for entry into Davao City, except for security checks that may be required by the AFP and PNP personnel, for the purposes of anti-crime, anti- illegal drugs, and anti-terrorism operations.”

The EO takes effect on Tuesday, November 16.

Before this EO, inbound travelers were required to present copies of RT-PCR tests as proof that they tested negative for COVID-19 at least 24 to 72 hours earlier.

The mayor however stated in her order that all those traveling via domestic and international flights “shall comply with the requirements and guidelines provided by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.”

Mayor Duterte earlier scrapped the face shield rule in Davao City.

Zamboanga City also scraps RT-PCR test

The Zamboanga City government also did the same thing, but made it clear that travelers would need to show proof of vaccination upon entry. 

The new Zamboanga policy took effect on Monday, November 15. 

The Zamboanga City COVID-19 interagency task force however said travelers from areas placed under Alert Level 4 by the government would be asked to present copies of their antigen test results from DOH-accredited laboratories issued at least 24 hours before their travel.

Elmeir Jade Apolinario, the task force head, said the unvaccinated would still be required to show RT-PCR test results that show that they are not COVID-19-infected, and secure safe pass permits from the through the City Tourism Office. with reports from Frencie Carreon/