Joint Task Force COVID Shield orders crackdown of fake quarantine exemption documents

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The Joint Task Force COVID Shield has ordered a crackdown on persons and groups engaged in manufacturing fake Medical Clearance Certificate and Travel Authority amid complaints of uncoordinated travels to the provinces.

Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said police commanders must ensure that those who would be arrested are charged and be denied with any opportunity to go back to their illegal activities since the manufacture of fake Medical Clearance Certificate and Travel Authority may contribute to mass infection in the areas of destination of the travelers.

A Travel Authority is needed by Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) if their travel involves crossing the borders of Metro Manila, a province and a Highly-Urbanized City. Before a Travel Authority is issued, a Medical Clearance Certificate must be presented in order to ensure that the traveler is free of Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).

“While all arriving LSIs are being subjected to medical check and quarantine as a matter of protocol by the receiving Local Government Units (LGUs), those who use fake Medical Clearance Certificate and Travel Authority endangers the health safety of other travelers they would travel with and the people they would mingle with in the quarantine facilities of the LGU destination,” said Eleazar.

Eleazar stressed that prior coordination is important in order for the receiving LGUs to prepare and control the arrival of LSIs in their areas. Some LGUs earlier asked the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 chaired by Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana through Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (SILG) Eduardo Año, to control the issuance of Travel Authority since the influx of LSIs in their areas is already resulting to the lack of quarantine facilities where they would be temporary held and be assisted by the local health personnel.

 Aside from Medical Clearance Certificate, a Travel Authority is only issued if the receiving LGU gives a go signal for the LSI to travel through prior coordination between the police station that issued the Travel Authority and the LGU destination. The LGUs, on the other hand, can also delay the entry of the LSIs.

 “All uncoordinated travels must be presumed to be using a fake Medical Clearance Certificate and/or Travel Authority unless cleared by the issuing authority. Like those who manufactured these fake documents, those who are using them must be punished for endangering public health,” said Eleazar.

 While Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) are no longer required to present Travel Authority if their travel is work-related, airline companies and passenger vessels are now requiring all their passengers to present Medical Clearance Certificate.

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