Saliva-based testing will now be accepted as a pre-boarding requirement for travelers to Aklan province in lieu of the nasal-based real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores issued the advisory on March 10, 2021.
But Miraflores said saliva-based testing is not yet accepted for tourists going to the world-famous Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan.
“Pursuant to the pronouncement of the National Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) recognizing saliva-based RT-PCR Test as alternative to Nasopharyngeal Swab for RT-PCR test for travels, it is hereby ordered that saliva-based RT-PCR test result is accepted as a preboarding requirement for travelers entering the Province of Aklan,” he said in his memorandum.
Hence, tourists going to Boracay will still be required to secure a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to their arrival and a confirmed booking with a Department of Tourism (DOT) accredited hotel.
Meanwhile, travelers from areas outside Western Visayas entering mainland Aklan who fail to secure a negative RT-PCR test may still present a Notice of Coordination issued by the LGU of destination and upon arrival shall be brought to the isolation facility of the LGU of destination and subjected to RT-PCR test.
According to Miraflores, they will be only released when their Covid-19 test result is negative.
This is despite proposals of the local business sector for the alternative use of saliva-based Covid-19 testing for Boracay-bound tourists.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Western Visayas initiated the proposal noting that the saliva test is cheaper, faster and easier to administer compared to the regular RT-PCR test.
Currently, the proposal is awaiting the approval of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force. (ERS)