PHILIPPINE STAR/ EDD GUMBAN

A SENATOR on Tuesday called on the national task force handling the coronavirus response to ease the quarantine protocols for all fully vaccinated overseas Filipinos returning to the country. 

Senator Richard J. Gordon said he sent a letter to Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., the task force chief implementer, recommending that returning migrants who have been vaccinated either abroad or in the Philippines be allowed to directly go on home quarantine for seven days and be tested for coronavirus within the fifth to seventh day of isolation.  

Mr. Gordon also said that the returning Filipino may only be allowed to interact with their household and community after testing negative for the disease.  

He said requiring returning Filipinos, especially overseas workers, to quarantine for 14 days “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,” he said in the letter.  

Earlier this month, the task force approved the rules cutting the quarantine period of fully vaccinated Filipinos to seven days, but this would only apply to those who got their jabs in the Philippines.   

Returning Filipinos who got vaccinated abroad must still undergo a 10-day quarantine at a facility and four days at home.  

Mr. Gordon also recommended that fully vaccinated foreign tourists and businessmen be allowed to enter the Philippines with a negative swab test result taken within 48 hours before the flight. They will also be required to undergo five days hotel quarantine upon arrival.  

They would also be tested on their third or fifth day of isolation and may be released upon receiving a negative test result, the senator proposed. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas