Entry of tourists to popular destinations depends on concerned LGUs — DOT

Marje Pelayo   •   September 15, 2021   •   330

MANILA, Philippines — Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said with the current shift of Metro Manila to Alert Level 4, certain changes in tourism activities will be implemented.

This includes allowing tourists to major destinations in Metro Manila in a limited capacity.

Puyat said the Rizal Park and the Walled City Intramuros in Manila are both opening to tourists effective September 16.

As for other destinations outside of the capital, Puyat said tourists should check on the concerned local government units (LGUs) if they are already allowing leisure travel in their areas.

Puyat stressed it is still the LGU who will decide on whether or not they will open tourism in their respective areas, especially to non-residents.

Under Alert Level 4, residents of the National Capital Region (NCR) will be allowed to exit the region to go to the provinces.

However, they have the obligation to check with their province of destination as NCR residents are allowed only in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).

“Kasi marami rin tayong tourist destination na kahit mababa ang kaso nila ayaw pa rin nilang tumanggap ng mga bisita, mga turista tulad ng Baguio. Sarado siya up to September 19. So kahit pwede na ang interzonal, intrazonal, hindi pa pwede [sa Baguio],” the DOT chief said.

Secretary Puyat said that though the tourism industry is gradually reopening, the public should still strictly observe minimum health and safety protocols against COVID-19.

Puyat added that they are giving discounted RT-PCR tests for tourists at P750 which can be taken at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC).

“Kunyare ikaw ay isang turista, gusto mong pumunta sa isang tourist destination, kailangan mo lang ipakita na nakabook ka sa isang DOT accredited hotel. Number 2 (ay) iyong return ticket,” she said.

According to Puyat, about 99% of hotel workers in the tourism sector in Metro Manila are already vaccinated and 94% among restaurant workers. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Catanduanes placed under Alert Level 4; seven other areas under Alert Level 3

UNTV News   •   November 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The province of Catanduanes will be under the second highest alert level starting November 17, Malacañang announced Saturday.

“The Inter-Agency Task Force approved on Saturday, November 13, 2021, placing Catanduanes under Alert Level 4 effective November 17, 2021 until November 30, 2021,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Alert Level 3 will be imposed over Baguio City and Siquijor effective November 15, 2021 until November 30, 2021.

Also placed under Alert Level 3 are Batanes, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya and the City of Isabela and Zamboanga City from November 17 – 30, Roque said.

The official added that Alert Level 2 will be imposed over the following areas effective immediately until November 30:

Ilocos Sur
La Union
Pangasinan
Dagupan
Ilocos Norte
Tacloban
Southern Leyte
Western Samar
Eastern Samar
Northern Samar
Ormoc City
Leyte
Biliran
South Cotabato
North Cotabato
Sarangani
General Santos City
Sultan Kudarat

The following will be under Alert Level 2, from Nov. 15 – 30:

Metro Manila
Nueva Ecija
Bataan
Aurora
Pampanga
Bulacan
Tarlac
Zambales
Olongapo
Angeles City
Rizal
Cavite
Laguna
Batangas
Quezon
Lucena City
Bacolod City
Iloilo City
Negros Occidental
Capiz
Antique
Aklan
Iloilo Province
Guimaras
Negros Oriental
Lapu-Lapu City
Cebu City
Mandaue City
Cebu Province
Bohol
Cagayan de Oro City
Misamis Occidental
Lanao del Norte
Bukidnon
Camiguin
Misamis Oriental
Iligan City
Davao del Norte
Davao de Oro
Davao Occidental
Davao City
Davao del Sur
Davao Oriental

Likewise, these areas will be under Alert Level 2, effective Nov. 17-30 :

Santiago City
Cagayan
Isabela
Albay
Sorsogon
Naga City
Camarines Sur
Camarines Norte
Masbate
Zamboanga del Norte
Zamboanga Sibugay
Zamboanga del Sur

 

Puerto Galera open to tourists fully-vaccinated vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   November 2, 2021

Tourists who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to present a negative RT-PCR test when visiting Puerto Galera, a local official said Monday.

In a public briefing, Puerto Galera municipal administrator Carmela Datinguinoo said that those who have yet to get vaccinated or only received their first dose may take antigen tests when they arrive at the city terminal.

She said the antigen tests would be provided for free.

“Kapag po fully vaccinated na po ang aming mga turista, hindi na po kailangan ng RT-PCR bagkus po iyon pong mga first dose lang o iyong mga wala pong mga vaccine ay maaari rin pong magkaroon o mabigyan ng free antigen test po sa amin sa Batangas Grand Terminal kung saan ito po ay ibinibigay ng munispyo nang libre,” she said.

She assured that the resort town has sufficient funds for its free antigen testing, which may also be availed by residents.

Following the easing of travel restrictions, Datinguinoo said that tourist arrivals in their area have increased.

“Sa ngayon po ay nag-a-average po kami ng isang libo kada araw mula sa singkuwenta kada araw noong mga nakaraang mga buwan kung saan po hindi pa kami fully open for tourism,” she said.

Datinguinoo assured that health and safety protocols are strictly implemented and that tourism sites are only allowed to admit visitors up to 50% of their capacity.

“Sinusunod po ng Puerto Galera ang DOT protocols po pagdating sa mga tourism sites. So, 50% capacity pa rin po, ganoon din po sa mga resort na accredited po dapat. At iyon pong aming mga capacity when it comes po sa mga boats, sa mga habal-habal po kung saan nagkakaroon po sila ng snorkeling, lahat po iyon ay 50% capacity po,” she said.

“Ngayon po ay strict pa rin po ang pag-observe namin at pagpapa-implement ng mga health protocols po sa lahat ng aming mga ports, sa lahat ng aming mga tourism sites. Tinutulungan din po kami ng mga resorts para po ma-implement itong mga ito,” she added.

Marshals are also deployed in tourism sites to ensure compliance to protocols against COVID-19.

Work from home setup for CSC employees in NCR extended until Oct. 15

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has announced the extension of the work from home (WFH) arrangement for its employees in the National Capital Region (NCR) in line with the pilot implementation of the Alert Levels System for COVID-19 response.

The CSC said the work from home setup, which covers employees at its central office, CSC NCR Office, and CSC Regional Office IV headquarters, will be extended until Oct. 15.

“The WFH arrangement shall also continue to subsist in other CSC offices under ECQ or MECQ for the duration of their quarantine classification,” the agency said in an advisory.

It advised its clients requesting for the services of the CSC Integrated Records Management Office (IRMO) and Office for Legal Affairs (OLA) to continue transacting business online through the Online Registration, Appointment and Scheduling System (ORAS) at https://services.csc.gov.ph.

“Clients who are scheduled to be at the CSC Central Office to pick-up their requested documents on the said period are instructed to wait for further advisory on the rescheduling of the pick-up of requested documents,” it said.

“Further, documents or printed communications, including mail deliveries from couriers and postal services, shall still be received through a dropbox placed at the CSC Main Entrance,” it added.

The CSC said that a security guard on duty shall facilitate the recording of all documents submitted through the dropbox and ensure the safety of said documents.

Metro Manila is under Alert Level 4 until Oct. 15.

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