Several LGUs still hesitant to reopen tourist spots – DOT
MANILA, Philippines — Several local government units are still hesitant to reopen tourist spots to the public given the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Tourism said on Thursday.
“Under modified GCQ (general community quarantine), tourism is already allowed but I have noticed that a lot of local government units, though under modified GCQ, are still hesitant to open,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
She cited as an example Baguio City, which Mayor Benjamin Magalong wants to reopen in September.
The Tourism chief said Magalong was “more comfortable” with reopening the country’s summer capital to tourists in September “because he wants all protocols in place” and he wants to assure that “once everybody enters Baguio, everybody will be safe.”
“We are also looking at El Nido, but again the mayor still has not given her go signal. We are in the process of talking to her because El Nido is already under modified GQQ,” Puyat added.
She said the DOT is working with LGUs to ensure that health protocols are in place before opening tourist destinations.
“In this case, with regard to COVID-19, though under modified GCQ, we really need the cooperation with the LGU and we are working with them with protocols, so finally when they allow tourists everything is in place and everybody will be safe,” she said.
The reopening of world-renowned Boracay Island to tourists from Western Visayas on June 16 was marred when a Bureau of Fire Protection member toured the island and tested positive for COVID-19.
The BFP-Western Visayas chief was relieved due to the incident, while the accreditation of the hotel in Boracay where the employee stayed has been revoked since it did not have a certificate to operate at that time when the employee stayed at its premises.
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