Covid-19: Malaysia, Philippines mutually recognise each other's vaccination certs

The Covid-19 digital vaccination certificate in the MySejahtera app. AZMAN GHANI/The Star

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Travellers from Malaysia are now allowed to enter the Philippines with proof of a complete vaccination certificate in MySejahtera.

According to the Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) in a statement on Tuesday (Feb 15), this was following the agreement reached between the Malaysian and Philippine governments on Monday to mutually recognise each other's Covid-19 vaccination certificate.

Travellers from the Philippines are also allowed to enter Malaysia with proof of a complete vaccination certificate in VaxcertPH.

“The entry of travellers is also subject to the current quarantine procedures set by the authorities of both countries,” said the statement.

The agreement also allows the Malaysian Embassy in Manila to assist seven Malaysians stranded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last Sunday to enter the Philippines for official and business purposes.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Philippines Embassy said that its government fully accepts the Malaysian digital vaccination certificate and considers the issue resolved.

“The Embassy notes that the Philippine government’s acceptance of the Malaysian vaccine certificate is on the basis of reciprocal or mutual acceptance/recognition of the Philippine vaccine certificate, VaxCertPH,” it added.

The Embassy said that several formal requests for acceptance of the Philippine vaccine certificate and confirmation of a mutual recognition arrangement had been sent to Malaysian authorities since Sept 2021.

“The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) notified the Malaysian Embassy in Manila on Feb 7, 2022 that the Philippines is unilaterally accepting/recognising the Malaysian vaccine certificate,” it added.

The Embassy said that the DFA received a reply from the Malaysian Embassy in Manila stating that the Malaysian Government accepts and recognizes the VaxCertPH.

It added that following this, the Philippine Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases adopted Resolution No. 161 which recognises Malaysia’s Covid-19 vaccination certificate for purposes of arrival quarantine protocols.

The Embassy added that cabinet secretary Karlo Nograles said that the IATF signed Resolution No. 161 to approve the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs to recognise vaccination certificates of the two countries “for the purposes of arrival quarantine protocols, as well as for interzonal/intrazonal movement”.

“This is in addition to other countries/territories/jurisdictions whose proof of vaccination the IATF has already approved for recognition in the Philippines, and without prejudice to such other proofs of vaccination approved by the IATF for all inbound travellers,” he said.

On Sunday (Feb 13), a total of seven travellers from Malaysia were stranded at the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport after being refused entry by authorities due to issues with their vaccination certificates.

A passenger who declined to be named said they were told by Philippine immigration authorities that they needed to either have been vaccinated in another country such as Singapore or possess the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Certificate of Vaccination.

The Philippine authorities said that they would not permit entry for the 15 passengers that arrived on the 8.30am flight from Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

Their passports were also confiscated and they were told that they would be deported.

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