Nine months ago if we need to go somewhere outside our province, all we need to do is pack our bags and go. Things changed when the pandemic happened. For more than two months, we were not allowed to go out of our homes. And now that we could, we can’t go out without a face mask. If we need to travel to a different province, we can’t do it spontaneously because we need to secure a travel authority (travel pass/travel permit) from the police station. And securing one takes at least a day to accomplish.
Two weeks ago I had to travel from La Union to Quezon City to pack my things up in my apartment. It was my first time to leave the province after more than eight months. My apartment was under a contract and my things are still there so I had to pay the rent even if I wasn’t staying there. So when my contract was about to end, I decided not to renew my contract anymore.
Securing a travel authority in La Union is easy, it doesn’t take an hour to complete it. Doing it in Quezon City is a different story. When you are out of La Union for more than a day, you already need to secure the requirements on border entries when you go back.
Requirements on Border Entries in La Union
As per the Provincial Government of La Union Executive Order No. 35, Series of 2020, a returning resident needs to present the following when entering any of the established borders of the province:
- La Union Health Declaration Form
- Government Issued ID
- Travel authority from PNP (Philippine National Police)
- Health Certificate from Local Health Office
- Negative RT-PCR Test Results if coming from MECQ (Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine) or ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) Areas
Since Quezon City is under GCQ (General Community Quarantine) already, the RT-PCR test result is no longer required. At least that was what the person from the La Union Covid Hotline told me when I called their office.
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How to Secure a Medical Certificate
My apartment is located in Brgy. San Roque in Quezon City. When I asked friends how to acquire a travel permit in Quezon City, they told me I only need to go to the Barangay Hall to get a health certificate then go to the nearest PNP station and present the health certificate to secure a travel permit/travel authority. However, when I went to the Barangay Hall of San Roque, I was told that I have to follow the procedure below:
1. Fill out the Health Declaration Form.
So first I had to get a Health Declaration Form at Murphy Super Health Center located 270 meters away from the Barangay Hall. Take note though that when you get a Health Declaration Form, you need to show them proof that you are a resident of Brgy. San Roque. Since I don’t have an ID saying I am from Brgy. San Roque, I had to ask my landlady to give me a letter signed by her saying that I am renting her unit. A photocopy of her ID and my ID are also required.
When they gave me the Health Declaration Form, they didn’t perform any test on me. They didn’t even get my body temperature so I had to make a guess because it is needed in the form. They only asked if I have Covid and I said no. Then they asked where I was traveling to and how old I am. Then they gave me the form.
2. Get a Barangay Certification from the Barangay Hall.
After completing the form, I went to the Barangay Hall to secure a Barangay Certification. It is needed in order to get a health certificate at the Quezon City Hall.
3. Secure Medical Travel Clearance Certificate from the Quezon City Health Office.
My sister’s friend who is working in Quezon City Hall said I could try getting a medical certificate from the health center of the barangay next to San Roque which is Brgy. Socorro. I went there but I was told that it will be useless because PNP Station 7 only accepts the medical certificate from Quezon City Health Office. So I had no choice but to go to Quezon City Hall.
The queue in getting the medical certificate in Quezon City Hall is super long. The queue is on the right side. There are chairs and every two or three minutes it is moving. I queued for 3 hours and 15 minutes for the certificate. I was there at 10:30 AM without eating breakfast and I finished at 1:45 PM. There are vendors selling sandwiches and bottled water but I was afraid of removing my mask so I was starving when I finished.
The requirement in getting a medical certificate is the Barangay Certificate and a valid ID. Then they will get your body temperature, ask where you are going, the date of travel, and the purpose of travel. After that, you’ll get the certificate.
How to Secure a Travel Authority (Travel Permit/Travel Pass)
When you go to the PNP station nearest you (in my case Station 7), you need to bring the following:
- Original and photocopy of the Medical Travel Clearance Certificate from Quezon City Health Office.
- Coordination letter/acceptance letter of the place you are traveling to. (I used the travel authority I secured from San Juan, La Union for this)
- A photocopy of your valid ID
- Travel form (you can get this at the police station)
For the travel authority, it took me about an hour and a half of queueing time. As long as you have complete requirements, you won’t have any problem getting one.
Entering the Border at Rosario, La Union
I wish I could write here about what happened at the border. But as a responsible citizen, I don’t think it is proper to write about it because what happened didn’t feel right. I wanna be clear though that I secured the proper documents. If you’re curious about what happened, send me a private message on my Instagram account (@tnadeperalta). I can’t guarantee though that I will tell you. It depends if I think you can be trusted haha.
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