Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte said a more stringent check of travel documents and enforcement of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 63 have been in place at the Davao International Airport (DIA) since the free Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing for arriving passengers at the Davao International Airport (DIA) has been temporarily suspended since January 13.

Duterte, in her regular Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) program Friday, January 15, said it is expected that COVID-19 positive passengers will be able to enter the city.

“Because wala tay screening sa musulod via air travel and air travel is the fastest route na makapa-transport og mga COVID-19 confirmed cases and because walay mandatory testing ang airplane passengers, there will always be someone na positive makasulod. So this is where important ang implementation sa E.O. 63 (Since there is no screening of passengers via air travel and considering air travel is the fastest route to transport COVID-19 confirmed cases and since there is no mandatory testing of airplane passengers, there will always be someone COVID-19 positive who can enter. Hence, it is important to implement E.0. 63) to make sure those traveling have essential business inside Davao City,” she said.

She said that non-Davao City residents arriving through the DIA will have to go straight to their LGU  (local government unit) of destination. 

The mayor also said, “Duna tay suspension of testing upon arrival diha sa DIA because we are redirecting our resources for the local transmission diri sa atoang syudad sa Davao kay sa pagkakaron, taas atong local transmission (We are suspending the RT-PCR testing at DIA since we are redirecting our resources for our local transmission in Davao City since our local transmission is high).”

She added that city government personnel remain deployed at the DIA to enforce E.O. 63. 

She also said that there are flight passengers inside the DIA holding facility while waiting to be fetched by their LGUs.

Davao City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) head Generose Tecson on Thursday, January 14, said that the RT-PCR testing at the DIA will resume once the Los Amigos COVID-19 Laboratory goes into full operation.

The free RT-PCR testing was launched at the DIA for arriving passengers who have no RT-PCR negative results to show upon their exit. A negative RT-PCR test result is a requirement for a passenger to exit DIA.

Since the RT-PCR was temporarily shelved, Tecson said arriving passengers with negative RT-PCR tests taken within 24 to 72 hours before their scheduled flights to the city are prioritized in exiting the DIA after checking their health declaration forms (HDFs).

Non-Davao City flight passengers may still exit the airport even without the RT-PCR negative test as long as their LGUs will fetch them and they can present other needed documents. She, thus, urged neighboring local government units (LGUs) to pick up their locally stranded individuals (LSIs) at the DIA

For Davao City residents without negative RT-PCR test results to show, the city tourism chief said their HDFs and other necessary documents will be checked. “We make sure they follow the requirements. We take note of the vehicles they ride on especially PUVs. They are given their health monitoring forms because they have to check-in with their BHERTS (Barangay Health Emergency Response Team). The 14- day home quarantine is mandatory,” she said. CIO