MANILA - Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion has appealed to the government to revert the mandatory quarantine in accredited facilities or hotels to three days as many overseas Filipinos plan to spend their Christmas back home.
"Our kababayans should spend Christmas at home, not in a foreign land and definitely not at a quarantine facility," Concepcion said in a statement Monday.
He urged the government to revert to the previous policy before December 15 as this would mean returning Filipinos who test negative for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) can be released and complete the remaining quarantine period with their families.
As the Omicron variant emerged in late November, the government extended the mandatory quarantine in accredited facilities or hotels for inbound travelers to five days for vaccinated ones, and seven days for those unvaccinated.
They are also required to have reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing on the fifth day for vaccinated individuals, and on the seventh day for unvaccinated individuals.
They can complete the 14-day quarantine period at home after testing negative for Covid-19.
"I personally think the risk is low since we will require PCR tests to be done 72 hours before departure and then again upon arrival, and then three days stay in quarantine. This should be time enough; in all, it will be a total of six days already," Concepcion said.
He said the Philippines is "probably one of the safest places" for overseas Filipinos to celebrate Christmas as authorities have yet to confirm the presence of the new strain of the virus here.
Earlier, OCTA Research said its outlook for the country this month is "positive and optimistic" as daily cases fell to below 1,000 and utilization of hospitals has eased.
President Rodrigo Duterte's adviser and the research group believe that the lowering of Covid-19 cases in the country is due to the vaccination efforts of both public and private sectors. (PNA)