DOT: PNP files raps vs 2 El Nido tourists who tampered COVID-19 results


Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) – February 20, 2021 – 5:54pm
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism on Saturday said that the El Nido Philippine National Police “is filing charges” against two tourists from the National Capital Region for tampering their COVID-19 test results.

The department said the two female tourists were held by the Municipal Health Officers at the Lio Airport, El Nido last February 16 after they submitted swab tests with falsified dates of specimen collection.

Visitors of El Nido are required to submit a negative RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) swab test result taken within 48 hours or two days before they will be allowed entry to the island.

The two tourists violated the Republic Act 11322 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act Sec (g) Tampering of Records of intentionally providing misinformation.  

“The falsification was confirmed by verifying the QR code through the Lords Medical and Industrial Clinic which administered the test,” the DOT said.

The errant tourists were later escorted by the Municipal Health Office to the Chelles Hotel where they will undergo a seven-day quarantine.

The DOT, however, did not specify when and where the complaints were filed.

Aside from the negative RT-PCR swab test results, tourists are also required to submit health declaration form, confirmed travel itinerary and accommodation reservation before they will be granted the QR-coded tourist ID from El Nido Tourism’s website.

The DOT lauded the local government of El Nido for enforcing tight entry protocols to guarantee the health and safety of guests, workers and communities in the tourist destination.

It urged both municipal and provincial governments of Palawan to further enforce strict controls, especially in areas that reopened to domestic tourists such as El Nido and Coron.

All attractions of Coron are open to tourists aged 15 to 65 while El Nido Resorts is open to all ages with no pre-existing health risks or comorbidities.

Other areas and requirements for Palawan tourists could be found on DOT’s Philippine Travel Advisory website where all other reopened sites are listed.

The new charges to El Nido tourists came a week after filed Marc Judicpa of the DOT Region VI-Boracay Field and Compliance Monitoring Office filed complaints against the six Boracay tourists from Manila who falsified their RT-PCR test results.

The six violators were apprehended in January for also violating Republic Act 11332 and Republic Act 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act for forging their documents.

The DOT said one of these tourists tested positive for COVID-19 on February 3.

In a press conference last Wednesday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the DOT will file complaints against eight other Boracay tourists who also falsified their COVID-19 test results.

The DOT earlier cited that under RA No. 11332, those who will falsify their COVID-19 test results may be fined P20,000 but not more than P50,000 or face imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.



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