Manila, Philippines — The DOT welcomes the gradual re-opening of tourism operations in light of the varied community quarantine levels across the country, hoping to pave the eventual recovery of the Philippines’ tourism industry.
“It’s important for the tourism sector to open as soon as possible, albeit slowly, gradually and cautiously, so that those who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to work and earn again.”, said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat
Travel for tourism purposes may be allowed only between places under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), and subject to travel restrictions imposed by the Local Government Units (LGUs). Only essential non-leisure travel between General Community Quarantine (GCQ) to MGCQ areas or vice-versa is allowed.
In boosting domestic tourism, the DOT places primordial concern for the safety and health of tourists, and has issued guidelines, in consultation with stakeholders, to adhere to protocols issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Philippine Department of Health (DOH).
Tourist destinations that will re-open during the MGCQ are still subject to the approval of their LGU Officials and must adhere to the health and safety guidelines issued by the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Meanwhile, only tourism establishments that are accredited and issued a Certificate of Authority to Operate by the DOT are allowed to open during MGCQ.
Accommodation establishments must adhere to the guidelines on updated health and safety protocols in the operations of accommodation establishments under the New Normal Scenario recently released by the DOT expounding on the operations of AEs in the areas of Guest Handling; Reception and Concierge; Rooms and Housekeeping; Food and Beverage Service; Kitchen Sanitation and Disinfection; Public Areas; and Hotel and Transport Service, among others. (https://tinyurl.com/y8w2cqxg)
With this, the Department reminds its stakeholders that the observance of said measures will be strictly monitored by the DOT, hence, will affect the issuances of their DOT accreditation, a prerequisite in securing business permits from the LGUs.
Tourism Secretary Romulo-Puyat urged tourism stakeholders to closely coordinate with their respective local government units to ensure a seamless transition, adherence to national and local protocols, and assess the actual readiness of their areas to support the resumption of tourism activities.
The safety and well-being of tourists, industry workers, and communities with a strong connection to the tourism industry remain the priority of the DOT as it continues to call on the support of all its stakeholders to ensure that the industry will get back on its feet, slowly but surely, and sooner than anticipated.