Hawaii includes PH in safe travels program as ‘trusted testing partner’

August 4, 2021 Cristina Lee-Pisco 215 views

THE state of Hawaii included the Philippines in its Safe Travels Program as a Trustedf Testing Partner, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

Consul General Joselito Jimeno called on State of Hawaii Governor David lge to express the Philippine government’s appreciation for the State of Hawaii’s decision to include the Philippines in its Safe Travels Program as a Trusted Testing Partner.

This allows Philippine Airlines (PAL) passengers travelling from Manila to Honolulu to bypass the state’s mandatory 10-day quarantine as long as they are able to present a negative PCR test taken at a PAL-accredited laboratory 72 hours before departure from the Philippines.

Ige, in his reply, said that the state looks forward to restarting and increasing international travel with the Philippines on a “more robust and regular basis.”, cognizant of the large Filipino community which calls Hawaii home.

Jimeno informed the governor that the Filipino community, through FiICOM CARES, has been very proactive in supporting the state’s efforts to increase the vaccination rate.

The Consul General also said that the Consulate also has been supportive of the community’s efforts through regular reminders via radio and other media partners to avail of vaccination and continue adhering to recommended health protocols.

Ige expressed appreciation for the community’s endeavors, noting that people-to-people links are sometimes more effective in getting the message across and convincing people to be vaccinated, adding that the government will focus on increasing the vaccination rate and reminders on remaining vigilant and taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus particularly as these measures will be even more important to ensure a healthy and safe environment for in-person learning as the new school year starts on August 3.

PAL officials, including president Gilbert Santa Maria, North America regional head Bryan Lim, and Honolulu area manager Soledad Solleza, and Consul Grace Anne G. Bulos and Protocol Officer Joel C. Bulos joined Jimeno during the call. Also present during the call was Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay.