SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) formally opened its satellite office in the Subic Bay Freeport on Tuesday in response to a growing demand for International Certificates of Vaccination (ICVs) or “yellow cards” that are required for travel to other countries.
Dr. Joseph Macaraeg, BOQ Subic chief, said the agency has collaborated with the Harbor Point Ayala Mall here to set up their Subic satellite office here, thus decongesting three other offices in Manila.
The Subic satellite office is the first in Central Luzon and the fourth in the country, he added.
Macaraeg said there is a growing number of applicants for yellow cards now that Subic has become a busy entry and departure point for both the crew change and OFW repatriation programs of the government.
“Before, we were only getting 30 to 50 applications per day, now we’re handling around 300 applications,” he said.
It might be recalled that the BOQ began its satellite operations here on September 10 in response to a clamor from Subic Bay Freeport residents, as well as other stakeholders from the neighboring communities of Olongapo City, Zambales, and Bataan, said Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Wilma T. Eisma.
Macaraeg said that the Subic BOQ office will make it easier for residents to get their ICVs, pointing out that customers need only register online, pay through online banking or payment schemes, and then wait for their schedule at the satellite office.
The yellow cards are released after screening and validation of the individual applicant’s information. “Once they have their appointment, all they have to do is present their receipt of online payment in order to receive their ICVs or yellow cards from the BOQ personnel stationed there,” Macaraeg said.
The Subic BOQ satellite office was officially launched by Macaraeg, Dr. Roberto Salvador Jr., who is deputy director, and Dr. Howard Lazo, along with Harbor Point general manager Engr. Lesly Manalo, and Harbor Point finance manager Renee Rose Layug.
Salvador said that the bureau has already issued more than 5,000 ICVs in the country, adding that with the new satellite office here in Subic Freeport, the BOQ can serve more Filipinos in the country.
The ICV or “yellow card” records the required vaccinations administered on an individual prior to travel abroad. Depending on the destination, the mandatory inoculations included those for yellow fever, typhoid, and now for SARS-COV2 or the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The document, which also contains the holder’s passport number aside from vaccination details, is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).
BOQ personnel said the office only accepts applicants who booked their appointment online to minimize contact as part of the bureau’s health and safety protocols.
Applicants may book BOQ online appointment at www.icv.boq.ph.