Are you an Overseas Filipino Worker who wish to continue working abroad during the pandemic? There are certain documents that you need to secure before traveling to another country. One of these is securing your International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV) or the yellow card.
Is this a new travel document?
In an interview to Dr. Neptali Labasan, who is Senior Medical Officer at the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), explained that the ICV is not a new travel document. It has been existing since 1933 and the ICV was spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO). Before, the yellow card only records flu, meningococcal, yellow fever, small pox, cholera, and other common viral infections. The idea behind this is to inform the health officials at the airport that your body is well-protected from any of the viral infections present or inherent to the country that you will be visiting. In 2019, there was a polio outbreak in the Philippines so OFWs are required to receive their polio vaccine. Today, COVID-19 has been added to the yellow card.
Yellow Card Application Process
The Yellow Card is the sole vaccination record that is recognized by the 196 member states of the World Health Organization. Hence, the locally-issued vaccination records are not applicable when you travel abroad.
The National COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) has set certain guidelines regarding yellow card application.
In the Advisory No. 101 of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the yellow card will only be issued to outbound travelers from the Philippines who have been fully vaccinated. However, not all countries require an ICV whether for tourism or employment. This is why, you need to ask first before heading to the BOQ for yellow card issuance. Moreover, the BOQ will only issue a yellow card if it is required to the country of destination.
Step 1: Set an Appointment
You need to book an appointment with the BOQ online here. There is a complete guide for you to follow upon registration.
Step 2: Payment
In order to confirm your slot, you need to process the payment directly to BOQ’s Pisopay partners. Over-the-counter payments may be done to any LBC branches or 7/11 stores nationwide. If you opt to pay electronically, you can utilize either the GCASH or Paymaya services.
In addition, you can pay via debit or credit card. Likewise, online banking is also accepted through BancNet, BPI, and Security Bank.
Step 3: Arrive at the Scheduled Appointment
Once booking is confirmed, you may proceed to BOQ at your scheduled time. You just need to present the confirmed appointment as well as the payment receipt.
Step 4: Printing of the Yellow Card
Once the yellow card application is done, get the certificate from the BOQ personnel.
Requirements for Yellow Card Application
1. You may present any of the following VALID IDs in your online application:
a. PCR ID
b. Passport ID
c. TIN ID
d. Voter’s ID
e. GSIS ID
2. Complete the following forms
a. General Data for Vaccination
b. Yellow Fever, Polio, Cholera, Typhoid Vaccination Forms
c. Duplicate or Re-issuance of ICV Form
Yellow Card Express Lane
For overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) seeking an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV), often known as the “yellow card,” the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) will establish a fast lane.
In a television interview last Monday, BOQ Deputy Director Roberto Salvador indicated that the policy aims to make it easier for OFWs who are already planning to move overseas to finish their ICVs.
To be eligible for the special lane, OFWs must provide their overseas work certificate (OEC) and travel confirmation, according to him. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) issues an OEC to those who want to work overseas.
BOQ established the dedicated lane in response to the large number of Filipinos who applied for ICVs as proof of adequate vaccination against the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Digital Vaccination Portal in the Philippines
VaxCert Protal PH
Through the Department of Information and Communication Technology’s (DICT) VaxCertPH online and mobile app, the government is already attempting to rectify the situation by creating a consolidated master list of locally-issued vaccination certificates.
The VaxCertPH certifications are intended to be accepted internationally because they met the World Health Organization’s criteria (WHO).
Salvador expressed the expectation that the ICV will be included into the VaxCertPH system in the future.
Before the end of September, the government plans to introduce the National Digital Vaccine Certificate (VaxCertPH), which would unite disparate vaccine cards across the country.
What’s in the VaxCert Digital Portal?
VaxCertPH contains the patient’s personal information, as well as the vaccine’s brand and lot number, as well as the location and date of administration. It also includes a QR code that will be used to match data in the Vaccination Information Management System (VIMS), a central database that serves all local government units.
Hundreds of fully vaccinated Filipino workers were denied entrance to Hong Kong earlier this month, prompting calls for a universal vaccination card. Officials there stated vaccination cards that aren’t linked to a single source, such as those given by multiple LGUs in the Philippines, aren’t allowed.
VaxCert PH, which is available to everyone for free, seeks to replace vaccination cards and COVID-19 swab test result certificates. The digital vaccine certificate differs from the BOQ’s International Certificate of Vaccination which is primarily used for travel.
The Rollout of VaxCert PH
VaxCertPH will be rolled out to Metro Manila residents and overseas Filipino workers first as per the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) (OFWs).
According to DICT Undersecretary for Digital Philippines Emmanuel Caintic, the agency plans to deploy the system nationally by October. Even if just 17 percent of Filipinos aged 18 and over are completely vaccinated against COVID-19, and 23% have only received their first dose, the introduction of VaxCertPH will go forward.
It’s more than just having a yellow card for travel
Yellow cards are a proof that your body has well-built defenses against any viral infections. This is not only beneficial to you since this will also be good to your loved ones as well. Who knows if you are carrying any viral loads within you? Whether you are travelling abroad for the purpose of employment or visiting your relatives, your goal should always be for the safety of everyone around you.
At the end of the day, safety is always a SHARED RESPONSIBILITY.