Summer finally reached the Philippines. But with the pandemic still running rampant, is it still going to be more fun in the Philippines? According to the Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, the answer is still a big "Yes".
“There is no stopping summer. Marami nang tourist destinations ang nagbukas ngayon — nagbukas na ang Boracay, Puerto Princesa — marami nang pwedeng puntahan ngayon (There are so many tourist destinations that reopened like Boracay, Puerto Princesa — there are many sites to visit now),” Secretary Puyat said in an interview with the DZRH.
Both the National Government and the Local Government Units (LGUs) are trying to revive the country's economy through its tourism industry, as more and more borders are opening up their doors to let travelers in, alongside the easing of travel restrictions and even getting rid of some travel requirements such as a Travel authority pass and a Medical Clearance Certificate.
Also, several travel destinations opted for a no aged restriction requirement. A way to encourage families to travel all together leaving no one behind.
“Ang pamilyang Pilipino malungkot ang bakasyon kung hindi kasama ang buong pamilya. Ito na ang pagkakataon na ang buong pamilya ay magkasama-sama at ma-enjoy nila nag napakagagandang beaches sa Pilipinas (Filipinos want to travel with their families. This is the opportunity for the whole family to get together and enjoy the beautiful beaches in the Philippines),” Puyat said.
She also said that smoothening of the travel requirement encourage more tourists to visit these destinations as it simplifies and clarifies the documents needed. In addition of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approving a uniform set of travel protocols for land, air, and sea all across the country while remaining the strict health protocols in place.
The protocol also includes the non-mandatory COVID-19 test requirements, in exception to other Local Government Unit who chooses to retain the certain protocol or should the traveler show signs of symptoms upon their arrival.
“When we travel sinusunod namin yung mga travel requirements as respect na rin to the LGUs kaya nararamdaman namin kung gaano kahirap kapag maraming hinihinging documents. At least ngayon mas simple na ang requirements (we follow the travel requirements as respect to the LGUs so we know how hard it is when there are many documents needed. At least now, the requirements are simpler),” Puyat said.
Though many people are now more optimistic in wanting to travel because of the vaccine roll-out, the tourism chief reminded everyone to still strictly follow all the health and safety guidelines. Such as wearing of face mask, face shields, social distancing, and practicing proper hand hygiene.
“Kailangang meron pa rin na minimum health and saftey protocols lalo na ngayon na dumating na ang vaccine. Mabuti nang mas maingat para we are good to go (Following the minimum health and safety protocols is a must even during vacation especially now that the vaccine already arrived. It is better to be more careful),” she added.
Also, tourists should always book their accommodations establishments and tour operators that are only accredited by the Department of Tourism. These establishments make sure that the health and safety of their guests remain a top priority.
Source: Manila Bulletin