Philippine islands named top favorites in Asia by int’l travel magazine

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 7, 2020   •   931

The Philippines dominated the Conde Naste Traveler’s (CNT) list of top islands in Asia.

Cebu and Visayas Islands have been named among Top Island in Asia while Palawan, Siargao, and Boracay ranked fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said it will be a challenge for the department to continue advocating sustainable and responsible tourism practices that will help preserve these destinations.

“This latest citation from CNT gives us in the Department of Tourism (DOT) a boost of confidence, as we continuously carry out our strategies to gradually reopen domestic tourism, to once again welcome travelers from other countries when things become better,” she said. AAC

IATF limits tourism activities in NCR Plus Bubble

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has set limited tourism activities in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus Bubble.

Based on the IATF resolution, transportation to and from Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan relating to tourism is prohibited. This is included in the non-essential activities set by the agency.

This gave several vacationers no choice but to cut short their trip and return home.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Spokesperson Goddes Hope Libiran, however, clarified individuals outside the NCR Plus Bubble who are returning home will be allowed to enter.

Ang pag-uwi sa kani-kanilang mga tirahan ay considered as essential travel. Kung kinakailangan, magpakita lamang ng proof of residence, ID o any document showing that you are indeed a resident ng area na iyong pupuntahan para wala pong problema (Returning to their homes is considered as essential travel. If needed, just present a proof of residence, ID, or any document that you are indeed a resident of that area you’re planning to go to so there won’t be any problem),” she said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said hotels and airline companies already agreed to ease their rebooking and refund policies for their customers.

DOT Usec. Benito Bengzon said tourism activities in MGCQ areas are still allowed.

Ang mga areas na under Modified GCQ eh pwede pa rin po ang (Areas under the Modified GCQ are still allowed to have) tourism activities for as long as the local executives agreed to reopen the destinations,” he said. – AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

COVID-19 test results still required as Puerto Princesa reopens to domestic tourists

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Puerto Princesa City has reopened its attractions to domestic tourists. However, RT-PCR test will still be required before they can visit the city.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Puerto Princesa reopened on March 1 and tourists who wish to visit the city will have to take the RT-PCR test before travel with 48 hours validity.

“The negative test result should be e-mailed directly by the Department of Health (DOH)-accredited testing facility to the City’s Incident Management Team (IMT),” the DOT said.

To attract more tourists, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the easing of travel requirements.

Puyat said quarantine will no longer be required, but visitors must still have a confirmed booking from a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment and travel agency for guided tours.

For contact tracing, Puerto Princesa will use the StaySafe.ph system.

“Wala na ang quarantine except siyempre kung may sintomas, (There is no need for quarantine unless the individual is exhibiting symptoms),” Puyat said.

Puerto Princesa City Vice Mayor Nancy Socrates reiterated that COVID-19 testing will still be needed if the tourists are staying for several days.

“Mayroon pa rin po tayong antigen testing na nire-require every third day and seventh day ng stay nila dito and bukod po sa iyong in place na po ang ating protocols (We still have antigen testing which we require every third and seventh day of their stay. This is apart from the protocols in place. This is additional monitoring and tracking of our guests),” she said.

Puyat assured that tourism frontliners are included in the priority list for COVID-19 vaccines. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

DITO Telco sets commercial launch in Visayas, Mindanao on March 8

Robie de Guzman   •   March 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – DITO Telecommunity Corp., the country’s new major telecommunications player, on Tuesday, released the list of key areas in Visayas and Mindanao where its services will be initially available as it sets to commercially rollout on March 8.

In an advisory, DITO said its services will be initially available in the following areas:

METRO CEBU

  • Carcar
  • Cebu City
  • Consolacion
  • Danao
  • Liloan
  • Mandaue
  • Minglanilla
  • Naga
  • San Fernando
  • Talisay

METRO DAVAO

  • Panabo
  • Tagum
  • Carmen
  • Davao City
  • Digos

In a virtual press briefing, DITO Telecom chief administrative officer Atty. Adel Tamano said the company’s services will first be launched in Visayas and Mindanao areas and will eventually make its way to the rest of the country.

Tamano said starting the telco’s commercial rollout in Mindanao is a “sentimental” decision to honor its origin.

“Ang desisyon talaga na magsimula sa Mindanao kasi yung roots po ng Dito ay Mindanao talaga. Ang original name talaga ng DITO is Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company at ang purpose ng initial franchise ng DITO was to serve Mindanao,” he said.

“Kaya naisip namin na maganda ang unang commercial rollout hindi sa Manila kundi sa Mindanao specifically sa Davao at Visayas na rin specifically sa Cebu,” he added.

Tamano said DITO Telecom’s initial commercial operations will be limited to mobile services but will be expanded to included broadband services by the middle of the year.

The telco’s commitment was to deliver 37.03% national population coverage within a minimum average broadband speed of 27 megabits per second (Mbps) in its first year of operations.

But based on the findings of an independent technical audit, DITO’s minimum average broadband speed were recorded at 85.9 Mbps for 4G and 507.5 Mbps for 5G.

The telco is operated by Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation, Udenna’s subsidiary Chelsea Logistics Holdings Inc. and China Telecommunications Corp. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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