Binay calls for the lifting of One Health Pass
Binay calls for the lifting of One Health Pass
Binay calls for the lifting of One Health Pass
by Ellicia Del Mundo11 October 2022
Photo courtesy: Senate of the Philippines

Senator Nancy Binay on Monday, Oct. 10, called for the lifting of the COVID-19 One Health Pass (OHP) amid the mounting complaints from travelers over the inconvenience of the screening system.

In a statement, she said many have complained that the verifying process of the OHP has resulted in long lines in the country’s airports.

The OHP is an online platform for passengers traveling to the country that was first introduced during the pandemic. All individuals are required to register on the platform and complete an electronic Health Declaration Card (eHDC).

“Dapat i-lift na natin ang One Health Pass dahil hindi na rin ito naging practical at mas magiging inconvenient ito para sa nakararami. Mas malaki ang hassle sa ating OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) at mga balikbayan dahil dagdag na screening kahit quarantine-cleared at kumpleto sila sa bakuna at boosters. From the tourism lens, we might be turning away potential guests because of this bureaucratic layer whose effectiveness isn't even guaranteed,“ Binay, who sits as the chair of the Senate committee on tourism, said.

Apart from this, she said the OHP has a risk of data breaches and it has also been subject to scams.

Binay said the government has repeatedly issued warnings against websites that produce fake passes and demands for payment.

The Senator urged the tourism department and other agencies to look into simplifying the processes like what other countries are implementing.

“Minsan, nakakatulong din naman na sumunod tayo sa Other countries, even our Asean neighbors, are already liberalizing and rationalizing their entry processes. If they come from cities that have a high vaccination rate, there is no reason why we must be stricter, especially against other countries that have better vaccination rates than us,” she said.

However, if the government would still mandate the pass, Binay suggested the immediate fixing of the inefficiencies and improving the accessibility of the website.

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