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A TOP Palace official said that President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision regarding health protocols that involve returning Filipinos is final.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque sees nothing that will reverse the President’s decision on the issue despite an appeal by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, who is looking at implementing a different protocol in the province regarding returning Filipinos.

I think the President has made a final decision that a uniform policy for the Philippines must be followed due to the common threat posed by the Delta variant,” Roque told reporters in a press briefing.

Under the existing national protocol, returning Filipinos are tested for possible COVID-19 infection during the seventh day of the 10-day facility-based quarantine.

However, Garcia wanted returning Filipinos tested upon arrival, adding that such a measure has been proven effective in preventing COVID-19 transmission. But that’s not how health experts see it, adding that testing on the seventh day of quarantine is far more conclusive as they take into consideration an incubation period before detection.

Moments after the President made an announcement regarding the policy covering returning Filipinos, the Cebu governor then offered a compromise — Cebuanos who are tested upon arrival and who yield negative results on the third day would be placed at isolation centers.

Probably pissed off with the assertive stance of the Cebuana governor, Malacañang issued an order diverting inbound flights to Cebu to Manila from May 29 to June 12.

The President also told Gov. Garcia to comply with quarantine protocols set by the national government.

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