BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The provincial government of Negros Occidental is offering free antigen testing to all inbound travelers upon arrival, effective February 1, disclosed Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.
This also came after Lacson and mayors of Negros Occidental have agreed to the request of Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia to lift the negative RT-PCR test result requirement for inbound Bacolod passengers, and require antigen test instead, regardless of vaccination status.
Lacson clarified that negative RT-PCR test results are still being required for inbound travelers to Negros Occidental, 72 hours prior to their arrival, for approval of their S-PaSS. But they can also state in their S-PaSS of their intention to avail of swab for free, upon arrival, either by air, sea or land, in lieu of negative test results.
During a virtual meeting on January 28, Leonardia thanked Lacson for hearing out and acting favorably on Bacolod’s request to lift the negative RT-PCR requirement and instead present a negative Rapid Antigen Test taken and certified by an accredited Department of Health clinic or laboratory within 48 hours prior to their flight schedule to Bacolod.
Both highly-urbanized cities of Bacolod and Iloilo earlier lifted the RT-PCR test results requirement from their respective inbound travelers, since both areas are under Alert Level 3 until Jan. 31.
This also led to the resumption of fast craft operations between the ports of the two highly-urbanized cities.
Lacson also said that the provincial government is willing to conduct a new antigen test for Bacolod-bound travelers for free to ensure authenticity of RAT result, and for the safety of everybody.*