Thu. Sep 23rd, 2021

The Department of Tourism has filed charges against the six Manila-based tourists nabbed last month for falsification of swab test results.

In a release issued Monday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat lauded the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the local government units of Aklan province and Malay municipality for reinforcing the regulations and health and safety protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force.

“We will continue to be vigilant and ensure that these collaborative interventions will deter entry of such delinquent and unwanted visitors. This is how serious the DOT is in the enforcement of existing health and safety rules,” Romulo-Puyat said.

The department also welcomed a DILG directive to the Philippine National Police to arrest and prosecute individuals who are forging their swab tests.

Under Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, those found tampering records, including official medical test results, are meted a penalty of P20,000 but not more than P50,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

The DOT called on the LGUs to tighten the registration procedure which involves, among others, validation of the submitted Covid-19 test results and hotel bookings.

At present, there are about 10 to 12 validation and monitoring officers per shift on two shifts a day, seven days a week.

The officers verify the required documents before a QR code is given. SOVEREIGNPH

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