No OFs, foreigners billeted in ‘dilapidated’ facility: NTF

The National Task Force on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (NTF-Covid-19) on Thursday denied reports that it brought at least 100 foreigners and Filipinos to a dilapidated hotel in Batangas for the required 14-day mandatory quarantine for passengers arriving from abroad.

The statement came as some of the passengers lamented that the hotel they were supposed to stay in has no running water and proper facilities for quarantine.

In a Laging Handa briefing, NTF Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon identified the concerned hotel as Canyon Woods in Batangas.

“Although hindi siya five-star hotel, hindi naman po madumi at maayos naman po at matagal na pong ginagamit ito ng ating mga kababayan na umuuwi (While it is not a five-star hotel, it’s not unkempt and it’s decent because we’ve been using it as a quarantine facility for our overseas Filipino workers),” he said.

Dizon also stressed that the 14-day quarantine is not some form of “hostage-taking” but part of a stricter measure to prevent the new coronavirus variant from entering the country.

“Mayroon po kasing napabalita na hino-hostage daw po ang ating mga kababayan at ilang dayuhan, hindi naman po ito totoo, ito po ay kasama sa napaka-striktong kailangan nating gawin para mapigilan ang pagpasok ng bagong strain ng Covid (There are reports that we’re allegedly taking our Filipinos and some foreigners hostage, but this is not true, this is part of a stricter measure to stop the new strain from entering),” he explained.

Dizon said foreigners and Filipinos arriving from abroad starting Dec. 30 are required to complete a 14-day mandatory quarantine in a government-accepted facility, regardless of a negative RT-PCR test.

The government would also shoulder the hotel fees.

He, however, said should the passenger opt to book their preferred hotels, the accommodation expense will be shouldered by them.

“Ito po ay tinanggap naman ng ibang pasahero na dumating kaya kagabi halos kalahati ng mahigit 100 na pasaherong dinala sa Canyon Woods ay dinala sa mga napili nilang hotel at tayo ay nag-provide ng transportation (This option was accepted by the other passengers that’s why last night, almost half of the 100 people brought to Canyon Woods were transported to their chosen hotels and the transportation was provided by us),” he said.

Source: Philippines News agency

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