Business trip to the Philippines feeling full of anxiety (Part 2)

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Greetings. This is Tachibana of UNIADEX, Ltd.
UNIADEX, Ltd. had recently established a joint venture company named [3Q DASH TECHNOLOX, INC.] ("3Q DASH" hereafter) together with Dai Nippon Printing, Co., Ltd. and Global Mobility Service, Inc.
To support this new establishment of 3Q DASH, I made a business trip to the Philippines from the end of March to mid-April. I would like to show you how the trip was in two articles.
Please be minded the information mentioned in this article is as of March 31st to April 14th, 2022.
For the latest information, please refer to Embassy of Japan in the Philippines website or other appropriate websites.


Smooth entry to the Philippines

After arriving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, all I had to do was to show my One Health Pass after the standard immigration process. It got me as a surprise that a PCR testing was not even required.
There were no restrictions for the ways of transportation to the hotel neither.
I had installed a contact tracing applet called Traze prior to my arrival just to be sure; however, no one told me to install this Traze applet when entering the country. I did not have to show this applet not even once during my stay in the Philippines.

Showing One Health Pass at the hotel

I stayed at a hotel in Makati which is located in the Southeast side of Manila.
There were a disinfectant spray and a thermometer at the entrance to the hotel.
To check-in to the hotel, I showed my One Health Pass and had my temperature measured. There were no list of questionnaires like the ones in Japan.
A disinfectant spray was provided in the room.
FYI, the only occasions I had to show my One Health Pass were at the airport check-in in Japan, at the immigration in the Philippines, and at the check-in at the hotel.

No restrictions at the restaurants

I went out for a lunch with the employees of Netmarks and 3Q DASH staffs. However, there were no restrictions on how many people were able to join at a table & there were no partitions separating us at the table. There were no inquiries made about anything at the entrance neither. It was just like the way it was before the COVID crisis.

[Lunch with Netmarks Philippines members - No partitions & no limitations on the size of the group]

New 3Q DASH office

3Q DASH office is located next to Netmarks Philippines office. As the 3Q DASH new office was recently established, we still have a lot of work left to do.

[3Q DASH office and members]

Since Netmarks Philippines employees are working from home, not that many employees are seen at the office.

Penalties for not wearing a mask

It used to be that you had to wear a mask and a face shield in Manila; however, you no longer need to wear a face shield. The difference from Japan is that you get penalized for not wearing a mask.

Turn out of the people

Just as usual, I saw quite a number of people outside. During my business trip, the count of the new COVID infections per day was only around 300, so there were no restrictions on going outside. Jeepney (share-ride taxi) used to have a limitation on how many can ride at a time, but now that the restriction is taken away, I saw a packed crowd of people riding it. Many people were also enjoying Salcedo Saturday Market which was located right next to the hotel I stayed.

[Jeepney full of passengers]
[Salcedo Saturday Market - the only difference from before is that one has to wear a mask]

Bonifacio Global City (BGC) which is about 15 minutes from the office by a car was also filled with lots of families and youngsters.

[BGC main street - High Street]

The only difference from before was that everyone was wearing a face mask.
I got quite busy making a support for 3Q DASH and Netmarks Philippines while also making the long due visits to the local clients. As the end of my business trip got closer, I started wondering if I can go back to Japan without any problems.

Walk in PCR testing without any wait

In order to be admitted back to Japan, I had to have a negative result proof of a PCR testing within 72 hours of my departure. I originally had an appointment at Makati Medical Center to get the testing done; however, I found out that I would not be able to return for the result due to my work schedule.
I then made an appointment via online at Philippine Airport Diagnostic Laboratory (PADLAB) which is located close to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

[Philippine Airport Diagnostic Laboratory's reservation system - "Barangay" was again asked here]
[Display of the appointment number & QR code]

Drive-thru or walk-in style testing was offered & there were no waiting time.
They issued a negative result certification in the format of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan without any additional cost. They sent me by an e-mail the certifications in the PADLAB format as well as in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan format. It was quite easy as I did not have to go back to get those certificates.

[PCR testing result certification sent by PADLAB via e-mail]
[Request can be made to have the certification in a particular format - As of June 10th, 2022, 7 items were deleted from the Japan's format (i.e. passport number, medical institutions address, doctor's name).]

The cost of the PCR testing was 2,400 Pesos, meaning that it's about 6,000 Japanese yen. Considering the cost of living in the Philippines, it calculates to be about the same as Japan where it costs around 30,000 JPY.

Registration to MySOS

MySOS is a health management applet to register the PCR testing result and vaccination certification to enter Japan. I recommend you register the necessary information 16 hours prior to your arrival to shorten the immigration process. You will see MySOS applet color changes from red to yellow to green as the registered information gets approved.


[MySOS - The color is red at first (to the left) & turns yellow and to green as the approvals are made]

Most of the passengers making a connection to other cities

The flight back to Japan was about 60% full. Most of the passengers were non-Japanese nationals making connections to other cities via Narita Airport. I know this because only a few people were left in the aircraft after all the passengers making connections got off first.

Arrival to Japan

I showed my MySOS & got a saliva PCR testing without much wait. After waiting for an hour, my number was called and I received the testing result certificate.

[Negative result certification issued at Narita Airport]

There were no rules on what kind of transportation to take from the airport to my house.
Self-quarantine after the arrival to Japan was not needed since I was vaccinated 3 times and the PCR testing result was negative at the airport.
MySOS applet collected my location information for few days after returning home, but there were no restrictions on where to go. I did not get any instruction on installing COCOA which is a contact management applet.If you do not have a smartphone, you have to rent one for a cost at the airport to provide the location information by MySOS.

This is the end of my blog of the business trip to the Philippines.
I hope that some information here can be of a help for those who are going to the Philippines. Rather, I wish that the information of this blog will no longer be necessary in the very near future.

Netmarks Philippines related Blogs

Nobutoshi Tachibana

was transferred to Netmarks, Inc. (current UNIADEX, Ltd.) from Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. in 2001. After being in charge of the new product evaluations at the Technical Support Center, he became a part of the Business Start-up team under the Management Service. He then worked for Technical Dept., Marketing Dept., Global Business Dept., Cloud Service Dept. and such. Currently, after 10 years, he is back to working for Global Business Dept. since 2019.