Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Wednesday said it is considering taking legal action against the travelers from South Africa who have not yet been located due to missing or incorrect information on their sheet.
Earlier, the Department of Health revealed it is having difficulty tracing the eight travelers who arrived in the country from November 15 to November 29 due to the lack of information.
When asked if the IATF is considering legal action against those who provided wrong information, Health Secretary and IATF chairperson Francisco Duque III said, “of course.”
“Kapag ito ay nahuli sila, masita sila, ay kakasuhan natin dahil hindi naman puwede ‘yung ganong naglalagay ka ng mga impormasyon na hindi tama, hindi totoo,” Duque said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.
(If they are caught, they will be reprimanded and charged because they should not provide incorrect information.)
“Kagaya niyan, gusto mo mag backtracing, mahihirapan ka mag backtracing dahil hindi mo alam saan mo sila hahanapin ngayon. So pinapaimbestiga pa rin natin yan at tinitignan ano ang mga lead,” he added.
(Like this, we want to conduct backtracing and we are having difficulties because we don’t know where to search for them. So we are still investigating this.
At present, only seven travelers remain unaccounted for. The located traveler is currently undergoing home quarantine and has tested negative for COVID-19.
All are returning overseas Filipinos.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said three provided their agency number, one provided an incorrect number, one an incomplete number, and two cannot be contacted.
Duque said there is a law mandating that all information provided must be true.
“Meron naman tayong batas diyan no na nagsasabi na lahat ng ilalagay mo diyan dapat totoo otherwise puwede ka mademanda… lalo na nasa public health emergency tayo,” he said.