SENATOR Panfilo Lacson said the government can accelerate the economic recovery if some health protocols — such as a hotel quarantine requirement lasting at least seven days — are revisited and made more “responsive and sensible.”
Lacson said foreign nationals who run businesses in the Philippines are turned off by the prospect of being locked in a hotel, especially if they have already been fully vaccinated before returning to the Philippines.
“This is one more reason for our authorities to make our health and quarantine protocols more responsive – and more importantly, more sensible. We should consider the plight of permanent residents in the Philippines who run small businesses here.
“They cannot make sense out of this requirement. Thus they may opt not to return here until the requirement is lifted,” Lacson said.
He cited an email his office has received from a Swedish national who is a permanent resident in the Philippines. The Swedish national has had two COVID-19 vaccinations, and will soon have an European Union vaccination/travel pass – but will opt to stay in Sweden until he can “come home without hotel quarantine.”
“He is hoping Philippine authorities can have such requirements revoked so he can ‘get back home and work,'” Lacson said.
Earlier, Lacson batted for a vaccine passport system that will make traveling to the Philippines easier for vaccinated people, especially for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and foreign investors.
He also urged the IATF to make the needed adjustments in its protocols to save balikbayans much inconvenience and heavy financial burden.
Lacson added he is hopeful the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will follow up on its commitment to the Senate to review existing quarantine and health protocols.