Guv stands pat on S-PaSS rule; Two caught with fake vax cards

Bacolod DRRMO photo

The Negros Occidental provincial government will not back down on requiring all passengers bound for the Bacolod Silay Airport in Silay City to apply for an S-PaSS prior to arrival, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said Tuesday, November 23.

Lacson said the S-PaSS will continue to be required even from Bacolod-bound passengers to enable the provincial government to validate the authenticity of their vaccination cards and negative RT-PCR results prior to arrival as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

Em Legaspi Ang, Emergency Operations Center – Task Force executive director, on Monday reiterated that the S-PaSS is no longer required for fully-vaccinated Bacolod-bound passengers.

A Bacolod-bound passenger and another who arrived in Sagay City submitted fake vaccination cards when they applied for their S-PaSS on Tuesday, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said.

The Bacolod-bound passenger, who listed her place of destination as Celine Homes Subdivision, was denied entry, he said.

The Sagay resident was quarantined and after 14 days he will be tested for COVID-19 at his expense, Diaz added.
The provincial government is studying taking legal action against the two, he said.

Lascon noted that Bacolod Councilor Cindy Rojas announced on her Facebook page that her office will be receiving and approving S-PaSS applications of air travelers prior to arrival in the light of the Capitol’s position.

“If this is true then we can put the issue to rest,” he said.

Even the airlines appreciate that the provincial government is requiring the S-PaSS because they do not have to validate and authenticate the vaccination cards and negative RT-PCR test results of their passengers themselves, Lacson said.

“We are doing a service to these airlines,” he said.

What is important is that the provincial government recognizes that the status of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City have gone down to Alert Level 2, that is why it allowed an increase in flights from Manila from six to a maximum of 21 a week, he said.

“If the issue is because we want more people to come in, especially because it’s Christmas, the province has done that,” Lacson said.

He said if Bacolod City does not want to do it, the Negros Occidental provincial government is willing to accept the S-PaSS applications of those headed for the city.

This does not delay the passengers’ flights because if no S-PaSS were required they would still have to get their vaccination cards and negative RT-PCR test results validated by the airlines, Lacson said.

Lacson said he cannot tell when the provincial government will lift the S-PaSS requirement. Perhaps when the World Health Organization declares that the pandemic is gone we can do that, he said.*

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