The government of the Philippines has introduced a mandatory travel requirement for all arriving passengers as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the e-CIF for the Philippines (Electronic Case Investigation Form).
The e-CIF is an electronic questionnaire that has been introduced by the Government of the Philippines in collaboration with the Philippine Red Cross. It ensures that all travelers will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, one of the entry restrictions that has been implemented to combat the virus in the ASEAN country.
How the e-CIF for the Philippines works
Travelers planning to visit any of the islands in the Philippines during the COVID-19 pandemic are required to complete an Electronic Case Investigation Form on the e-CIF digital platform before arrival at border control in the country.
It is necessary to complete the online questionnaire with a range of personal and contact data and details of the passenger’s employment, travel, and health history, including if they have potentially been exposed to COVID-19. Passengers also need to provide a digital image of their passport biographical page or national ID card.
The aim of the e-CIF is to collect all relevant information from arriving passengers in advance so that they do not need to wait in long lines and fill out paperwork before they can take the mandatory RT-PCR swab test for COVID-19.
By having all of the necessary data in advance of the arrival of a flight. the personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) responsible for testing are fully informed of passengers’ medical histories. They are also able to communicate the results of the tests more easily.
Information required to complete the e-CIF form
After reading and agreeing to the data policy at the top of the questionnaire, passengers are required to complete the first section of the Electronic Case Investigation Form with the following personal information:
- First, middle and last names
- Civil status (single, married, separated, etc.)
- Current and permanent address
The traveler is also asked to provide contact information such as their email and cellphone number. If you don’t have a cell number, you’ll be prompted to provide the number of a family member or employer and to indicate that this is the case.
Employment and Travel History
The e-CIF also asks the traveler to provide their employment information such as occupation, the name of their employer, which industry they work in, and the country in which they are employed.
You’ll also be asked if you are engaged in frontline or health work, whether as a nurse, doctor, cashier, utility worker, or another job that involves contact with a large number of people. You must also indicate whether or not you are an Overseas Filipino Worker.
The next section of the Electronic Case Investigation Form asks passengers to provide details of the last time they were in the Philippines, if applicable, including date of arrival and departure, as well as for information for the current trip, such as:
- Arrival date
- Port of departure (city/country)
- Whether they will arrive by air or sea
- Flight/ sea vessel number
- Purpose of travel.
Mandatory Health Questions
Finally, the traveler is prompted to answer some questions about the history of their exposure to COVID-19 and any symptoms before they are able to upload their ID document and submit the e-CIF for processing.
It is necessary to state whether or not you have knowingly been exposed to a case of COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to the onset of signs of infection. You must also indicate if you have experienced any noticeable symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, or difficulty in breathing.
Passengers are also asked whether they have any current or previous medical conditions or illness if they are pregnant, and whether or not they would consent to plasma donation for blood transfusion in the event that they test positive for COVID-19.
Arriving in the Philippines with an e-CIF
Once all of the necessary information has been completed on the e-CIF form, the traveler is simply required to click the ‘SUBMIT’ button to pay the COVID-19 swab fee and send the form.
Those traveling to Clark International Airport in Mabalacat do not have to pay the swab fee online, but they are required to complete the payment on arrival. If you are traveling to the Philippines as an OFW, you do not need to pay a fee for a COVID swab.
After submitting an e-CIF, a QR code is automatically generated which can then be presented on a mobile device or in paper format a coast guard swabbing booth upon arrival in the Philippines, in order to quickly receive the mandatory COVID-19 test.
Once the swab has been administered, passengers are required to comply with Filipino quarantine requirements and isolate at a government-approved facility until they receive the results of the test from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ). Test results are usually sent relatively quickly, with 24-36 hours.