October 01, 2021
MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday questioned the current quarantine rule for arriving travelers to the Philippines, citing costs associated with quarantine accommodations at hotels.
Duterte said the current period of 10 to 14 days should be cut down to 7 days, since it will only take that long for symptoms to manifest.
"If you can talk to the task force, is it really demanded of the moment and is it really a compelling thing that you complete the 10-day detention?" Duterte said in a taped public address.
Interior Sec. Eduardo Año said rules are being finalized to shorten the quarantine period for fully vaccinated people to 5 to 7 days.
"Fina-finalize na lang po namin ito. Magiging 5 to 7 days na lang ang quarantine period sa mga vaccinated po," Año said in the same briefing.
(We are just finalizing this, but the quarantine period for those who are vaccinated will only be 5 to 7 days.)
Duterte said the existing quarantine has burdened government, which must pay the hotels used as quarantine facilities.
"Pati 'yung utang natin. Kasi 'yung mga hotel na ginagamit natin, maganda. Manila Hotel, Diamond Hotel. Hindi ito basta-basta," he said.
As of Thursday, the Philippines has a total of 2,549,966, COVID-19 cases, with 138,294 active cases, 38,294 deaths and 2,373,379 recoveries.
The Philippines was at the bottom of Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking among 53 countries this month, based on 12 data points related to virus containment, the economy, and reopening.
Bloomberg said the Philippines only had a vaccine coverage rate of 20 percent, among the lowest of those ranked. It is also "engaged in one of the most stringent lockdowns" and its borders remain sealed to visitors.
The country "underperforms, too," on COVID-19 containment, and "had the second-worst positive test rate" in the ranking at 27 percent, only better than Mexico, said Bloomberg.
Malacañang, meanwhile, said the survey did not rate all countries in the world.