By Hanah Tabios
The Department of Tourism (DOT) urged its tourism stakeholders whose areas of businesses are now under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), to closely coordinate with their respective local government units (LGUs) to ensure a seamless transition for the resumption of tourism activities.
Tourism Secretary Berna-Romulo Puyat welcomed the gradual re-opening of tourism operations as quarantine measures are further eased across the country on June 1, hoping to pave for the eventual recovery of the Philippines’ tourism industry.
“It’s important for the tourism sector to open as soon as possible, albeit slowly, gradually and cautiously, so that those who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to work and earn again,” she said.
But Puyat said tourist destinations that resume operations during the MGCQ are still subject to the approval of their LGUs and must adhere to the health and safety guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
Only accredited tourism establishments and those that have secured a certificate of authority to operate from the DOT will be allowed to open during the MGCQ.
The secretary also emphasized that the safety and well-being of tourists, industry workers, and communities with a strong connection to the tourism industry will remain the priority of the tourism department as it continues to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With this, the department reminds its stakeholders that the observance of said measures will be strictly monitored by the DOT, hence, will affect the issuances of their DOT accreditation, a prerequisite in securing business permits from the LGUs,” the DOT said.
It also added that travel for tourism purposes may be allowed only between places under MGCQ and will still be subjected to travel restrictions imposed by the LGUs.
This also means that only essential non-leisure travel between general community quarantine (GCQ) to MGCQ areas or vice-versa is allowed.