DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 09 January) – The Philippine National Police regional office (PRO) here is requiring visitors to its main headquarters and all police stations in the five-province, six-city region to present proof of vaccination before they can enter their premises.
The regional office announced it would require visitors to Camp Quintin Merecido in Buhangin to present proof of vaccination, citing a directive of Philippine National Chief Dionardo Carlos. It said that the ‘no vax, no entry’ measure was intended to protect its personnel from a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“Itong ating no vax no entry is strictly applied sa camps and stations pero it doesn’t mean na yung mga walang vaccine ay hindi makakapag-transact” (This no vax no entry policy is strictly applied in camps and stations but it does not mean that you cannot transact if you are not vaccinated), Atty. Eudisan Gultiano, PRO XI spokesperson told MindaNews on Sunday.
Unvaccinated persons who have transactions with the headquarters or the police stations can still do so in designated areas outside the camps and stations, Gultiano said.
The PNP regional office on January 7 posted an announcement on its Facebook page declaring its “No vaccination, no entry” policy. The regional office reportedly ordered the implementation of the directive of the PNP chief “on the need to present the vaccination card in all Quarantine Control Points.”
This drew the ire of netizens who took it to mean they cannot enter the region if they are not vaccinated.
The PRO has since clarified this was not the case. Visitors to the region would be allowed to pass quarantine control points regardless of vaccination status, Gultiano said.
She said only a legal mandate, such as an ordinance from the local government unit can authorize police to prevent entry for the unvaccinated across borders.
PRO XI Regional Director Filmore Escobal said the police would deliver the usual services.
To date, the PRO said it has vaccinated at least 99.27% of its uniformed personnel.
Across the region, there are 9,301 fully vaccinated uniformed personnel, with 233 waiting for their second dose.
There are 58 who are unvaccinated, some of them due to medical conditions.
Less than 20 personnel cited “religious beliefs.”
As of January 9, the presence of the Omicron variant has not been detected in the region.
Nationwide, the Department of Health recorded 28,707 new cases as of 4 p.m., Sunday. The DOH XI on the other hand recorded 107 new cases in the region.
The National Capital Region has since been upgraded to a stricter Alert Level 3 from January 3 to 15, 2022, due to higher case counts over the past few days.
The DOH in the Davao region recorded a total of 105,067 cases as of January 9, 3,887 of whom died while 100,518 recovered. (Yas D. Ocampo / MindaNews)