Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat visited Siquijor. As part of their effort to help in the reopening of various tourist destinations amidst the pandemic. Its main goal is to emphasize strengthening and encouraging domestic tourism this year. Puyat's travel was followed after Governor Zaldy Villa's eagerness to finally allow tourism in the province.
"As the DOT bids to fully reopen Siquijor to tourism and revitalize this sector, we continue to seek regular discussions with provincial and local government leaders and stakeholders, gaining insight into your preparedness to reopen as well as a deeper understanding of how we can best help industry stakeholders and citizens of your communities," Puyat said.
According to the DOT secretary, that the collaboration between the department and both the public and private sector includes the following; promotional branding of campaigns, funding their digital version of Siquijor Healing Festival, the consistent application of public health and safety protocols, creation of tourism products, and improvement in tourism circuits such as their farming, diving, and ecotourism.
Furthermore, the accommodation establishments (AEs) and tourism enterprises in Siquijor include conducting physical inspections. Currently, there are 962 AEs accredited in the region, where 37 are located in Siquijor.
Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or the Bayanihan 2, the Department of Tourism alongside the Department of Labor and Employment continuously extended their assistance in helping much-displaced tourism working in the Central Visayas Region.
Last February 19, 696 tourism enterprises, tour guide associations/ individuals, and community based-tourism associations were endorsed by the DOT region 7, with a number of 24, 588 beneficiaries. Where 40 are from the Siquijor province.
As of now, there are a total number of 1,763 approved tourism enterprises, tour guide associations/individuals, and community based-tourism associations which the DOLE Region 7 already remitted. With 13,367 individual beneficiaries amounting to a budget worth of Php 66,835,000.
“Great progress has been made in making tourism bounce back, but there is still much we can all do to ensure the safe, responsible, and sustainable recovery of the tourism in Siquijor and the rest of the Philippines,” Puyat said.
In addition, Governor Villa agrees with Puyat's statement regarding the implementation of strict minimum public health standards in order for a successful reopening of many tourism industries across the country. He added that tourists should still procure certain requirements. This includes presenting a negative RT-PCR or an antigen test result, travel authority from their Local Government Unit (LGU), a confirmed booking with a DOT -accredited AE, and a duly accomplished affidavit of the undertaking.
“Known as the Healing Island of Central Visayas, Siquijor has much to offer to nature lovers, adventure junkies, beachgoers and divers, and culture enthusiasts, providing us ample reason to believe that the tourism sector in this province can successfully re-emerge from this crisis,” Puyat added.
The province is well known for its traditional healing culture, the Cambugahay Falls, Paliton Beach, and Mt. Bandilaan, where the famous Healing Festival is held. There are a total number of 143,286 visitors on the same day and about 37,651 overnight visitors as of 2020.
Source: DOT FB