Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso backed the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) proposal to open the city’s parks to people of all ages once a week for a designated “family day.”
Domagoso said he is supporting all initiatives to gradually open spaces in the city amid the COVID-19 pandemic to boost the city’s economy.
“Of course, we want to support [domestic] tourism, lalo na ngayon. At least, kahit papaano, may madudulot na negosyo at trabaho ‘yan (that will contribute to business and the creation of jobs). If there is an open space, an alternative for the people to go to, we’ll support it,” he said in an interview over DZMM on Friday, Feb. 26.
On Feb. 17, the Department of Tourism reopened Intramuros, including some of its known attractions such as Fort Santiago, Casa Manila, and Baluarte de San Diego, to visitors aged 15 to 65 years old.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said they will recommend a one-day exemption when people of all ages can visit Intramuros after seeing that some families were barred from entering Intramuros on Feb. 17 because they were joined by children and elderly people.
“Ang turismo ay para sa pamilya, hindi lang for mga 15 to 65 years old (Tourism is for the whole family, not only for those aged 15 to 65 years old),” she said on Feb. 18.
Domagoso also encouraged the public to visit other attractions in the city like the Andres Bonifacio Monument Park near the Manila City Hall and the Hidden Garden in Lawton.
He also said the Manila Metropolitan Theater will open to the public in April.
After several months of lockdown, tourism is among the industries heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
As of Feb. 25, Manila has 433 active cases out of 27,817 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of this figure, 26,582 have recovered while 802 have died, data from the city government showed.