The Department of Health (DOH) is studying the possibility of requiring travelers to remove their jackets upon entry in the Philippines to control the transmission of monkeypox. 

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said during the Senate’s health and demography panel’s hearing that the suggestion was brought up after the department’s consultation with the Bureau of Quarantine on how to stop the entry of monkeypox to the Philippines. 

“But definitely, closing our borders is not part of our recommendations as of this time…right now, the risk is very low in the country for this type of disease,” Vergeire told lawmakers.

“For monkeypox, you need direct contact with an individual who has lesions already, and you will get infected,” she also said.

Vergeire added that mass immunization across the population against monkeypox is not required. 

“The only ones who need a vaccine are those who were directly exposed and those who are vulnerable to the disease…those are our targets at the outset compared to Covid-19, where we need to vaccinate the entirety of the population to build a wall of immunity so transmission can stop,” she said in a mix of Filipino and English.


Ronald Espartinez