Gov’t to finalize this week guidelines on accepting foreign tourists
MANILA, Philippines — The national government may approve this week the guidelines for allowing foreign tourists from “green” countries in the Philippines, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Monday.
Romulo-Puyat earlier announced that the government’s pandemic policy-making body — the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases — “approved in principle the entry of fully vaccinated tourists from Green List countries/territories/jurisdictions.”
“Nagsimula na silang mag-usap tungkol dito sa mga detalye last Friday. Hopefully by this week, ma-approve na pati ‘yong mga kondisyon and we can implement, para naman ‘pag Pasko ‘di ba, masaya na,” she said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(Discussions on the guidelines and details have started since Friday. Hopefully, by this week, this can be approved already so that we can implement it so by Christmas, everybody would be happy.)
The Philippines has included in its “green” list of countries Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, India, among others.
Romulo-Puyat noted that the tourism’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product dropped to a measly 5.4% due to the pandemic, which resulted from the loss of jobs of at least 1.1 million tourism workers.
“We’re hoping hindi lamang ‘yung domestic tourist but unti-unti tayong magpasok ng mga turista sa ibang bansa ay magkakatrabaho na ‘yung mga nawalan ng trabaho,” she said.
(We’re hoping not to just ramp up domestic tourists but also allow gradually foreign tourists so those displaced will retrieve their jobs.)
She also noted that many local destinations no longer require RT-PCR coronavirus tests for fully vaccinated tourists.
Around 75% of tourism workers have been vaccinated, Romulo-Puyat added.
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