The Philippines has just announced that it will be recognising Malaysia’s MySejahtera COVID-19 vaccine certificate as proof of vaccination. The policy change came just after it was reported that several Malaysians arriving in Manila on Sunday were stranded at the airport after immigration authorities rejected the document.
Eventually, the travellers were allowed in after negotiations with the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Around the same time, the Philippines government released Resolution 161, declaring that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will now be accepting MySejahtera’s vaccine certification.
The source of the row was due to the fact that authorities did not recognise Malaysia’s national certificate as the country still did not accept the Philippines’ own VaxCertPH certification at the time. Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Charles C. Jose said his government recently sent an official request to Wisma Putra for mutual recognition of the vaccination certificate prior to this, but had not heard back about the issue since.
The weekend’s stranded passengers incident seem to have forced Wisma Putra’s hands, as Jose said that the Malaysian Embassy in Manila indicated that Malaysia will be giving recognition to VaxCertPH, which explains the sudden policy turnaround. With that out of the way, Malaysians are now free to travel to the Philippines without having to quarantine, as the country had recently opened its borders to tourists.