DOT eyes adoption of COVID-19 digital travel pass for international travelers

Marje Pelayo   •   April 8, 2021   •   294

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) mulls the adoption of a COVID-19 travel pass as it prepares for the safe resumption of international trips.

Specifically, the travel pass would be a requirement for passengers visiting the Philippines.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat hinted at this possibility during a meeting with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and local tourism industry leaders.

Puyat said the Department wishes to adopt the measures undertaken by other countries that have relaxed their borders amid the COVID-19 situation.

She added that the IATA’s travel pass offers a standardized solution that will be helpful in the validation and authentication of each passenger’s COVID-19 travel requirements.

On Monday (April 5), Singapore announced it will start using the IATA travel pass as a health document for inbound international passengers.

The city-state opts to start using the app in May while some 20 other countries are now using the Travel Pass technology solutions on a trial basis.

Shuttered resort in Caloocan City lacks DOT accreditation

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Tourism (DOT) has confirmed that the resort in Caloocan City found violating health and safety protocols was also found to be operating without DOT accreditation.

In a statement, the DOT reiterated that a DOT accreditation ensures that the establishment has complied with the minimum standards for the operation of tourism facilities and services amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Tourism department commended Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan “for ordering the revocation of the establishment’s business permit and ordering the closure of the erring resort.”

“The DOT lauds the swift and resolute action taken by the city government of Caloocan against a resort found to be violating health and safety protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF),” the statement reads.

The department also reminds the public to engage in responsible tourism by observing the health and safety protocols.

Meanwhile, the Caloocan City government has already filed a complaint against Barangay 171 Chairman Romeo Rivera on Tuesday (May 11) at the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Caloocan. AAC


First in Philippines: PAL joins global trial run of IATA Travel Pass app

Marje Pelayo   •   April 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is joining the global trial run of the digital travel pass developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The IATA Travel Pass application aims to help international passengers digitally manage their health documents and coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19) negative test results in compliance with health protocols and for a safer and more convenient travel experience.

PAL will conduct a trial run of the new on its flights from Manila to Los Angeles and Singapore on selected dates from May to June 2021, the airline firm said in a statement.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier hinted at this possibility saying the Department wishes to adopt the measure which has been undertaken by other countries that already have relaxed their borders.

She added that the IATA travel pass offers a standard that will be helpful in the validation and authentication of each passenger’s COVID-19 travel requirements.

DOT welcomes IATF’s decision to approve construction of walk-in, drive-through vaccination site

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) has welcomed the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to approve the construction of walk-in and drive-through vaccination site at the Nayong Pilipino in Parañaque City.

The DOT said the IATF has mandated the National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF) to enter into an agreement with the Nayong Filipino Foundation (NPF) for this purpose.

“The National Task Force against COVID-19, which was duly authorized by the IATF, shall enter into an agreement with the Nayong Pilipino Foundation, whose board had already given its preliminary approval of the project, to ensure its immediate execution,” the department said in a statement.

The facility, according to the tourism department, will be a public-private partnership, is expected to vaccinate at least 12,000 people a day. AAC


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