Travel permits no longer needed within Davao Region

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 9 June) – Securing travel permits or travel authority for individuals travelling within Davao Region is no longer required, Mayor Sara Duterte said on Monday.

Davao Region. Map courtesy of Google

This, as the local government units in the region have agreed to no longer require travel authority (TA) for individuals travelling within Region 11 after the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (RIATF-MEID) – XI has convened the Regional Task Force on COVID-19 (RTF)-XI and the different LGUs on Monday to discuss concerns on the movement of people while under the general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

“During the meeting with RIATF and IATF, everybody agreed that there is no longer a need for you to have a travel authority going anywhere [within the region],” Duterte said.

Duterte, who chairs the RTF-XI, said, however, that travelling individuals must secure a medical clearance which is needed to be presented when crossing any of the Davao LGU border checkpoints.

On Monday, the RIATF-MEID issued an advisory to streamline the process of movement of people in the region.

Signed by Alex Roldan, regional director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-XI), the advisory said that individuals do not need [TA] if they fall under the list of people identified as “Authorized Persons Outside of Residence” (APOR). Roldan also chairs the RIATF-MEID.

“For workers, they need only [to] present company IDs or certificate of employment. For businesses, present business permits and shall indicate LGU-destinations,” the advisory said.

The advisory permits traveling within Davao Region without TA for “indispensable travels” (ITs), but would only require a presentation of medical certificate as well. These indispensable travels include family emergency, medical emergency, and those with humanitarian reasons.

However, TA is required for ITs and locally stranded individuals (LSIs) who would wish to travel outside of Davao Region.

LSIs refer to those stranded individuals in different areas which include workers, students, and tourists.

Meanwhile, the city government of Davao has set up a one-stop shop at the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) along San Pedro Street to cater to individuals in need of travel permits and medical clearances, particularly for those who are going outside of Davao Region.

Duterte said this was in compliance with the national government’s directive as they (LGUs) were instructed to put up a one-stop shop for the issuance of travel permits.

“We created a one-stop shop at the Davao City Police Office. We also have the City Health Office (CHO) there and the police. Once you have submitted your requirements, CHO can immediately issue a medical clearance upon your check-up, and travel authority will immediately be issued,” the mayor said.

For stranded individuals who need travel authority from the police, they are required to have a duly filled-up form or request letter (form is available at the DCPO Admin Building Lobby), a certification from the Barangay Chairman, and a Medical Clearance Certificate from CHO or any Department of Health accredited hospitals.

The RIATF-MEID advisory mandates that issuance of a travel authority requires a certification from the Barangay Chairman that the person who wants to travel “has not developed any COVID-19 symptoms at least 14 days before travel request,” and a Medical Clearance Certificate from the city or municipal health office. (Warren Elijah E. Valdez / MindaNews)