Treñas reinstates swab test rule for repatriates


Locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) bound for Iloilo City would once again be required to undergo reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for possible coronavirus (Covid-19) infection.

This is in preparation for the expected influx of Ilonggos coming home for Christmas, said Mayor Jerry Treñas.

Aside from LSIs and ROFs, those classified as authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) will also be covered by the mandatory swabbing beginning this December. This would be free of charge. (

Repatriates will have the option of submitting themselves to a 14-day quarantine either at the city’s isolation facilities or at home. If they choose the latter, they will be monitored by the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team.

Treñas expressed enthusiasm at quicker test results as the city’s molecular laboratory started operating this week.

The laboratory was awarded a license to operate on November 23 and is now testing up to 180 specimens each day. This would ease the turnaround time on tests which were previously done at the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao district, the designated sub-national laboratory for Covid-19 testing in the region.

Last month, the mayor issued Executive Order No. 165, scrapping the mandatory swabbing of people from areas classified as “low-risk” by the national government’s Inter-Agency Task Force.

Under the EO, returning people must have coordination with and acceptance of the local chief executive through the Iloilo City Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Notice of coordination and acceptance must be obtained from the EOC.