SyndicatedManila BulletinPhilippines urged to lift One Health Pass to boost tourism arrivals

Philippines urged to lift One Health Pass to boost tourism arrivals

Manila, Oct. 10 — Senator Nancy Binay on Monday, October 10 called for the lifting of the One Health Pass (OHP) as more and more travelers complain over the inconvenience of having to comply with the screening system.

Binay noted overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been complaining that the process of verifying the OHP has led to long lines in the country’s airports.

“Dapat i-lift na natin ang OHP dahil hindi na rin ito nagiging praktikal at mas nagiging inconvenient ito para sa nakakarami. Mas malaking hassle sa ating mga OFW at balikbayan dahil dagdag na screening kahit quarantine-cleared at kumpleto sila sa bakuna at boosters (We should now lift the OHP because it’s no longer practical and is becoming an inconvenience to many.

“It is a bigger hassle for our overseas Filipino workers and returning Filipinos because of the additional screening even they are cleared by quarantine and they are already vaccinated and had boosters),” Binay said in a statement.

The Senate Committee on Tourism chief also said the Department of Tourism (DOT) and other agencies should consider simplifying the entry processes for visitors so the tourism industry can quickly recover from the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Aside from risk of data breaches, she noted that the OHP has also been the subject of scams. The government has repeatedly issuing warnings against websites demanding payment to issue fake passes.

Binay said it is high-time the Philippines follow the trends in other nations, noting how even neighboring countries in the ASEAN region are already liberalizing and rationalizing the entry processes in their ports.

“If they come from cities that have a high vaccination rate, there is no reason why we must be stricter, especially against other countries that have better vaccination rates than us,” the senator said.

Thailand and Vietnam have fully reopened its borders and do not require proof of vaccination or testing, while Singapore requires tourists to be fully vaccinated for at least two weeks, she noted.

If the government still sees the need to issue the pass, she said it should immediately address inefficiencies and improve the accessibility and interface of the website.

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