DOT launches upgraded online accreditation system

Tourism enterprises can now apply online for accreditation as the Department of Tourism (DOT) launched Tuesday the upgraded version of its online accreditation system as part of the national government’s ease of doing business. 

Tourism chief Bernadette-Romulo Puyat (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The DOT first launched its online based accreditation system in 2009 which paved the way for a seamless and efficient processing of accreditation applications from tourism establishments. 

While it was a big improvement in the manual accreditation process, the system was upgraded in 2012 but a few bugs remain, according to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. 

Through the enhanced platform,, Puyat promised tourism stakeholders to ease and speed up accreditation requests from local tourism establishments, especially at a time wherein contactless transactions are highly encouraged.

During the press launch, she said the new system will facilitate accreditation requests, contactless transactions, and hazard-free government services under the new normal.  The system will specifically cater the needs of accommodation establishments (AEs), travel and tour agencies, tourist transport operators, tourism frontliners, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) facilities and organizers, health and wellness services, and other tourism-related enterprises like restaurants.

“This system fulfills President Duterte’s call for the streamlining and automation of services in the Ease of Doing Business Act signed in 2018 and the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, which directs government offices to expedite delivery of services in view of Covid-19”, the tourism chief said in her opening remarks. 

The Tourism Act of 2009 (RA 9593) mandates the DOT to ensure the harmonious implementation of the standards and procedures for the accreditation of tourism enterprises nationwide.  

The accreditation portal is an upgraded version that provides for the creation of business accounts, email verification, real-time application status notification and an upcoming online payment system.

Since mobility is limited amid the COVID-19 threat, inspections will also be done virtually so first time applicants will be given provisional accreditation in the meantime.

“This is a strong reflection of the DOT’s own advocacy towards the adoption or shifting to e-commerce and contactless transactions as recommended protocols in the new normal. Now more than ever, the digitalization of our accreditation system proves timely as we roll out new health and safety guidelines for the new normal for primary and secondary tourism enterprises,“ Puyat said.

Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) president Jose Clemente III, who was among the panelists, welcomed the development. 

“The accreditation process going online will be a big help for people especially under the current circumstances wherein mobility is limited right now,” he said.

Once accredited, tourism enterprises are certified as having complied with the minimum standards for the operation of tourism facilities and services. 

As of Sept. 15, a total of 10,042 tourism enterprises were accredited nationwide, or an increase of 32.36 percent from the figures in 2019.

“Through the new system, we hope to ease the burden of local businesses, including the MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) who collectively form the backbone of the tourism industry,” the tourism chief added.

A total of 6,045 hotels, resorts and other accommodation establishments were issued Provisional/Certificates of Authority to Operate (PCAOs/CAOs) during the community quarantine, in compliance with the DOT guidelines.

Issued in May, the guidelines govern the operations of AEs, tourist transport operations, restaurants, MICE operations and island and beach destinations in preparation of the resumption of tourism activities.