On Friday, July 21, 2023, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued Proclamation 297, which effectively lifted the nationwide declaration of a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. As a result, all previous orders, memoranda, and issuances that were only applicable during the State of Public Health Emergency will no longer be valid.
With the implementation of Proclamation 297, all government agencies are urged to review and adjust their policies, rules, and regulations to align with the lifting of the state of public health emergency. This move signifies a step towards returning to normalcy as the COVID-19 situation improves.
Last Sunday, July 23, 2023, I opened eTravel.Gov.PH website, which aims to streamline entry and data collection for Filipino residents and travels who will be flying in and out of the Philippines, to check if some changes have been implemented on it following Presidential Proclamation 297.
This is how eTravel.Gov.PH’s homescreen looks as of July 24, 2023.
I noticed that the website pretty much looks the same except for one key revision, which I had to check an older version of the website via WaybackMachine to confirm.
Apparently, the “Entry Guidelines” section that contains Entry, Quarantine, and Testing Requirements for Filipino and Foreign Travelers has just been removed.
This was how eTravel.Gov.PH looked before Proclamation No. 297, courtesy of WaybackMachine or archive.org.web. Notice that it still had the ‘Entry Guidelines’ section then.
Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web or the internet established by non-profit organization, Internet Archive, located in San Francisco, California. It was created in 1996 and made accessible to the public in 2001. This web tool enables users to revisit the past and view how websites appeared in previous versions.
Department of Tourism was the government agency that officially announced eTravel.Gov.PH last December 5, 2022 as a replacement for the previous One Health Pass website. As of writing, DOT has yet to post any update on social media or release a statement about this latest site revision.
As such, I’m not sure if this slight revision on eTravel,Gov.PH is a mere glitch or the result of an intentional update that’s in line with Proclamation 297. Similarly, we have yet to get confirmation from DOT if the removal of this section on the website will also reflect changes in entry guidelines for vaccinated, unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated Filipino and Foreign travellers.
I’ll keep monitoring updates from the Department of Tourism or Philippine News Agency about these changes on eTravel.Gov.PH and I’ll keep you posted as soon as I learn anything significant. Stay tuned.