Despite the transition of several areas to the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), an official from the Ministry of Tourism (DOT) clarified that local government units (LGU) with jurisdiction over the country’s tourist areas have the final say on the issue. resumption of domestic activities. tourist activities.
This was according to Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. who said easing community quarantine measures does not guarantee an immediate restart of tourism.
“Sometimes there are areas that have already been placed under modified general community quarantine but the LGUs still refuse to reopen for tourism. But if the local general manager accepts the reopening, we still have operational capacity calculations, ”Bengzon said in Filipino in an interview broadcast on CNN Philippines.
Bengzon also pointed out that the operational capacities of establishments related to tourism such as hotels, restaurants, accommodation establishments and tourist transport will be reduced to 50% of their capacity to avoid close contact and prevent the spread of the virus itself. with the reopening of tourism at the height of the current global health crisis.
The DOT is stepping up efforts to restart the country’s national economy by opening selected Filipino tourist sites where there is a low risk or no recorded cases of coronavirus.
This week, Tagaytay City LGU was the latest to announce the reopening of its tourism. They will now begin to welcome customers for its restaurants, hotels and resorts. This, following the passage of the province of Cavite to the MGCQ.
Although the DOT has no regulatory power to control the influx of tourists, Bengzon said he instead encourages tourist establishments, mainly Airbnbs in Tagaytay, to apply for accreditation and obtain a certificate of authority to operate. in order to protect its guests and employees.
Meanwhile, LGUs in Baguio City and Ilocos Region signed a Memorandum of Understanding last week to launch the dry phase of the travel corridor plan in Baguio, La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, fixed this September 21.
But Bengzon clarified that only residents of those regions will have the freedom to visit tourist sites in the five provinces.
This means that those coming from Metro Manila and the outside provinces will have to wait a little longer to get to these areas.
He also said foreign travelers planning to visit the Philippines will not be allowed entry amid existing travel restrictions imposed by the Philippine government, especially for non-essential travel.
But he said the DOT is currently exploring travel tours for Boracay Island, which was the first major tourist attraction to welcome residents of the Western Visayas region.
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