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6-month imprisonment likely for traveler with fake RT-PCR

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The Provincial Legal Office is now investigating the submission of a fake negative RT-PCR result and S-PaSS by an inbound traveler to Negros Occidental.

Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said the inbound traveler paid P2,000 to secure a fake negative RT-PCR test result.

“This is a serious offense that endangers the life of others,” Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday.

Under Republic Act 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, those found guilty of presenting fake RT-PCR results may face fines of up to P50,000, or imprisonment of one to six months, the Philippine National Police said.

Diaz said the 19-year-old Negrense submitted a fake certification from the Philippine National Red Cross laboratory in Mandaluyong, and also a fake S-PaSS that was not approved by the provincial government of Negros Occidental.

The use of a different font from what the PRC uses in the documents it issues led to discovery of the offense upon verification with the Red Cross, Provincial Promotion and Information Section chief, Charina Magallanes-Tan, said.

Inbound travelers to Negros Occidental are required to submit negative RT-PCR test results taken 72 hours before travel, and to register with the S-PaSS, or the Safe, Swift, and Smart Passage travel management system developed by the Department of Science and Technology 6 to facilitate local travel due to the varying levels of Covid restrictions imposed by local government units, to prevent the spread of the dreaded disease in the province.

In previous months, the provincial government of Negros Occidental also intercepted fake negative RT-PCR test results presented by several returning Negrenses.*

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