The Bureau of Quarantine on Thursday said that an International Certificate of Vaccination or ICV is not mandatory and is dependent on the destination country's travel requirements and restrictions.
Filipinos have begun to consider applying for the certiciate, also known as the Yellow Card, as millions complete their COVID vaccines, allowing opportunities for travel abroad.
"Hindi ito mandatory, at hindi ito matuturing na immunity passport," BOQ Director Dr. Roberto Salvador Jr. said, adding that it serves mostly as proof of vaccination.
"Hindi lahat ng pupunta sa ibang bansa kailangan ng ICV, ang kailangan lang pupunta ng ibang bansa ay makipag-ugnayan dun sa health ministry kung san sila pupunta, kung ano yung mga requirements," Salvador said.
The yellow card will be honored internationally until a uniform digital vaccination card is implemented for Filipinos, a process that may take time as the Philippines and other countries must adjust to the new system and requirement, Salvador said.
The ICV serves as proof of vaccination against diseases like yellow fever and polio, and most recently COVID-19. Recognized by the World Health Organization, the vaccine report may be required by some countries when there is an increased health risk for travelers.
The card has been used since the 1930s and is honored in 190 countries. Overseas Filipino Workers and seafarers have been required in the past to present the document, even before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
A physical copy of the card is granted to those who apply, equipped with a unique QR code.
"Pagdating niyo sa country of destination, i-sscan ito ng border authorities, lalabas doon, i-veverify yung digital copy ng yellow card," he said.
How do you get one?
Only fully-vaccinated individuals going for work and essential travel can apply for the yellow card. Online appointments for the Manila and Pasay branches can be done online, and processing is priced at P370 pesos.
Check out our guide on how to apply:
There are also satellite offices in Batangas, Subic, La Union, Laoag, Cebu, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.
To cater to more applicants, the BOQ plans on opening more satellite offices in North EDSA, General Santos, Kalibo, Palawan, Bacolod, and Legazpi.