Senator Francis Pangilinan on Thursday urged the government to pay for the swab tests of all arriving passengers, especially overseas Filipinos, to spare them from additional financial burden.
Requiring inbound passengers to pay for their own swab test was unwarranted, the opposition leader said.
“Mas mainam na sagutin na ng pamahalaan ang swab test ng lahat ng inbound passengers, lalo na ng ating OFWs, para mabawasan ang kanilang pinansiyal na pasanin,” he said.
He also expressed support for the Cebu provincial government's double-swabbing policy for returning overseas Filipinos, saying it was "worth adapting as a national policy." The swab tests there for returning overseas Filipinos is for free.
Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and returning non-OFWs are allowed to enter Cebu province following a negative swab test result made upon arrival. The provincial government requires a second test on the seventh day, allowing passengers to continue their 14-day quarantine at home after the released of the first negative swab test result.
The government's pandemic task force said all arriving international passengers must be tested on the seventh day of their 14-day quarantine, with day 1 beginning on the day of the passenger's arrival.
Fully-vaccinated passengers are exempted from the RT-PCR test requirement. They are required to undergo a shortened seven-day quarantine at quarantine facilities.