DOT begins vaccination of 3,000 tourism personnel in Boracay island

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Wednesday (July 7) began vaccinating tourism personnel in Boracay island.

Around 3,000 tourism personnel in Malay, Aklan working in hotels, restaurants, and other tourism frontline personnel were vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

According to DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, vaccinating tourism frontline personnel would encourage tourists to visit Boracay and also ensure the safety of everyone visiting the island.

“We hope that ang ating tourism frontliners ang mapapabakunahan kasi the nature of the job is face to face, as much as we want it online, hindi kayang hindi online especially the waiters,” she said.

(We hope that our tourism frontliners will be vaccinated because the nature of the job is face to face, as much as we want it online, we cannot, especially for waiters.)

“We hope to be able to vaccinate the whole of Boracay but we’ve also started the in Bohol,” she added.

Puyat said they are asking other tourism destinations to also vaccinate frontline personnel.

Meanwhile, Aklan Province assured that vaccination rollout is ready once they received vaccine supplies. The local government, however, will still retain the RT-PCR test requirement for tourists.

“We had a meeting with the provincial IATF and these new guidelines giving fully vaccinated persons to do an inter-zonal travel here in the province of Aklan we decided to just retain in the meantime that all tourist all arrival in the province of Boracay should still present their RT-PCR test until such time that we can make a system of validating these vaccination cards,” according to Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores. AAC (with reports from Marvin Calas)

DOT: Museums in NCR Plus to reopen on limited capacity

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Museums in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus areas will be allowed to open on a limited capacity, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on Friday (June 11).

Tourism sites in the NCR Plus will be allowed to accommodate 20% of its total capacity and is subjected to the health and safety restrictions implemented by the DOT and local government unit (LGU), based on the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). Guided tours will remain prohibited.

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said this would help bring back employment.

“Our historical sites and museums in the NCR Plus Area may welcome visitors following the easing of quarantine restrictions. This is part of our efforts to restart tourism and leisure activities in a safe and steady manner, and to help bring back employment,” she said.

Puyat also said that the reopening of historical sites and museums is good timing as it coincides with the country’s observance of Independence Day.

“Revisiting our past brings us closer together as a people and draws us closer to a future free of the perils and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic,” she said.

The IATF approval covers historical sites and museums in the NCR Plus, which covers Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna, and which is currently under a General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with restrictions. AAC

DOT welcomes IATF decision to allow leisure travel for all ages from NCR Plus Bubble

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Tourism (DOT) welcomes the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to allow leisure travel for all ages from the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus Bubble.

Under the IATF Resolution No. 118A, the Task Force allowed leisure travel to and from NCR Plus bubble from June 1 to 15, 2021 to areas under a Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

However, there will still be restrictions such as requiring travelers below 18 and above 65 years old to undergo an RT-PCR test before travel.

Travel should only be from point-to-point which means that while pit stops or stopovers are allowed for eating and personal necessities, no side trips shall be made to other tourism destinations.

In a statement, the tourism department said allowing leisure travel will help local tourism back on track towards recovery,

“We are looking forward to once again see our tourism destinations welcome tourists from the NCR Plus area. Of course, this has to be done with utmost precaution,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.

Puyat also said the DOT will continue to strengthen its coordination with our local government units (LGUs) to ensure the strict compliance of health and safety protocols.

“We continue to count on travelers to comply with minimum health protocols. I know our kababayans have been wanting to go out and enjoy during the summertime, but let us practice responsibility to protect ourselves and the communities in your chosen destinations,” Puyat added. AAC

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