Reopening Coron, El Nido, San Vicente in Palawan to tourists eyed
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) is eyeing to reopen three Palawan tourist destinations in a bid to boost domestic tourism amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press conference on Friday, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she has talked with Palawan Gov. John Alvarez and other local officials about reopening El Nido, Coron, and San Vicente to tourists.
Palawan is currently under modified general community quarantine.
“We want to start slow but sure,” Puyat said during the press conference. “Safety first.”
According to Puyat, Coron, El Nido, and San Vicente recorded P3.1 billion losses due to almost zero tourism activities from March to June.
Aside from this, 14,000 tourism workers were affected by the pandemic, she noted citing local officials.
Puyat further said it was also agreed that a “dry run” in El Nido resorts will be carried out and tourists who wish to visit must present negative results from RT-PCR testing.
“Kung galing sa [Clark International Airport], sa Clark sila magte-test. Kung galing sa Maynila, dapat let’s say Makati Medical [Hospital], ‘yung approved by the DOH (Department of Health). And before they travel, dapat papakita ‘yon,” she said.
(If they came from the Clark International Airport, then from Clark they need to undergo testing. If they came from Manila, let’s say they need to test in Makati Medical Hospital or any hospital approved by the DOH. And before they travel, they need to present the result.)
“Tapos pagkadating dito, ‘di na kailangan [magpa-test] (And when they arrive here, they do not need to get tested anymore),” she added.
On June 16, top travel destination, Boracay, reopened but only for residents of Western Visayas.
As of July 2, the Philippines posted 38,805 COVID-19 cases, including 10,673 recoveries and 1,274 fatalities.
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