Duterte to visit tourist sites to boost tourism amid COVID-19 threat

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020   •   747

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte prepares to board a helicopter after gracing the inauguration of the Sangley Airport Development Project in Cavite City on February 15, 2020. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte will visit popular tourist sites in the Philippines to promote local tourism amid the COVID-19 threat.

READ: It’s more fun in the Philippines: Duterte invites Filipinos to visit local tourism sites amid Covid-19 fears

The President may travel to Boracay, Cebu, and Bohol to attract more visitors and potentially make up for the losses of the current travel ban in China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

“He’s a magnet. His presence attracts people from attending an event,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Usec. Art Boncato said they will schedule a trip as soon as possible.

“We’re of course lining up destinations like Boracay, Cebu for instance even Bohol, as the initial list of destinations for the president most probably visit within the next couple of weeks,” he said.

READ: Duterte asks local carriers, hotels to help boost PH tourism amid COVID-19 threat

Tourism industry stakeholders agreed to help boost domestic travel by offering discounted airfare and hotel rates following a meeting with President Duterte.

“Come with me and be my travel companion. I’ll be traveling around the Philippines. Pasyal tayo dito sa atin. Unahin natin ‘yung atin. Mabuhay ang Pilipino. Mabuhay ang turismo ng Pilipinas,” Duterte said on his video message.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Cebu, Mandaue and Zamboanga cities placed under GCQ starting June 1

Marje Pelayo   •   June 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Aside from Metro Manila, several areas have also been placed also under general community quarantine (GCQ) for 15 days starting Monday (June 1).

Based on the latest announcement by Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, these areas include the entire Region VII or Central Visayas particularly Cebu City and Mandaue City as well as Zamboanga City in Mindanao.

The decision to place these areas under GCQ came after their local governments appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 for a reclassification of quarantine status.

These areas are in addition to the previously announced regions and localities which will be under GCQ starting June 1, namely the National Capital Region, Pangasinan, Regions II, III, IV-A and Davao City.

Meanwhile, all other areas not mentioned will be placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) starting next month. 

Therefore, starting Monday (June 1), two community quarantine measures will be implemented — the general community quarantine (GCQ) where most industries and economic sectors will be allowed to operate; and the modified general community quarantine (NGCQ) which is the last phase towards the transition to the ‘new normal.’ MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Newborn baby in Cebu tests positive for COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 22, 2020

A newborn baby in Cebu City has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Department of Health (DOH) Region 7.

On Tuesday (April 21), the DOH Region 7 reported that the newborn is among the seven new COVID-19 cases in Cebu City, increasing the total number to 173.

The regional department also reported that they have yet to determine how the infant got infected with the virus since the mother tested negative for the viral disease.

Meanwhile, the DOH Region 7 advises pregnant women to stay home, avoid crowds, and always wear protective masks in case they need to leave the house.

Central Visayas has a total of 203 COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday. The highest is in Cebu with 173, followed by Lapu-Lapu City with 13 cases, and Mandaue City with 9 cases. AAC (with reports from Gladys Toabi)

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Duterte threatens to impose ‘martial law-like’ measures if quarantine violators persist

Marje Pelayo   •   April 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to impose a more drastic measure particularly against violators of the government’s lockdown rules as cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to climb in the country.

In his late-night address on Thursday (April 16), the President warned of military and police take over if Filipinos continue to break the government’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

I am just asking for your disiplina, kasi kapag ayaw ninyong maniwala, mag-take over ang military at police (I am just asking for your discipline because if you do not obey, the military and police will take over). I am ordering them now to be ready,” the President said addressing quarantine violators.

Sila na, parang martial law na rin. Mamili kayo (They will take over like in martial law. You decide),” he added.

The President expressed frustration over reports of residents repeatedly violating quarantine rules despite the government’s efforts in providing social relief at this time of crisis.

Nearly two weeks before the extended Luzon-wide ECQ is lifted on April 30, President Duterte said he will be compelled to order the government forces to enforce strict social distancing and curfew measures if the number of quarantine violators continue to increase.

“Ayaw ko pero kapag naipit na ang bayan at wala kayong disiplina, (I don’t want to do it but if the entire country is compromised because you lack discipline),” he warned.

The Chief Executive also directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate the perpetrators of cockfighting and street drinking sessions in Metro Manila amid the ECQ.

He threatened to cut government aid to those who would further ignore ECQ measures.

 “May pera pala kayong pangsabong. May pera pala kayo pang-inom. Ibigay ko na lang (sa iba,) [You have money for cockfighting. You have money for drinking sessions, so I might as well give the money [to those in need,] ” the President said.

“There’s not enough to go around. Hindi talaga magkasya. We are getting low sa supply ng pagkain na. Ilang araw na iyan buong Pilipinas pinapakain mo – 18 million families (Our supply especially of food is getting lower. We have been feeding 18 millione Filipino families for days now],” he concluded. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

READ: Duterte warns unruly quarantine violators not to taunt gov’t amid relief delays

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