The Department of Tourism (DOT) has welcomed the Inter-Agency Task Force's (IATF) approval of the sought uniform travel protocols for all local government units (LGUs) as a way to further promote domestic tourism in the country.
In a statement on Saturday, Feb. 27, the DOT said that the simplification of travel requirements is "vital in encouraging domestic travel and helping in the speedy recovery of Philippine tourism."
"The DOT is for the safe reopening of tourist destinations as this allows us to restart our economy and help our tourism workers regain their jobs," it added.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced also on Saturday that the IATF on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the uniform set of travel protocols for land, air, and sea across the country while keeping strict health protocols in place.
These include the scrapping of the mandatory coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, except when required by the LGUs of destination; as well as the need to go on quarantine unless the traveler shows symptoms.
Meanwhile, for LGUs that will still require negative test results, the tourism department urged travelers to avail of its subsidized testing to help reduce travel costs and encourage travel.
Tourists coming from Metro Manila can apply for the subsidized RT-PCR test at the Philippine General Hospital or the Philippine Children's Medical Center for as low as P900 and P750, respectively.
The DOT reminded tourists and stakeholders to keep observing strict minimum health and safety protocols such as wearing of face masks and face shields, and maintaining physical distancing, among others.
The department also told travelers to only book with DOT-accredited establishments to ensure the safety of tourists, tourism workers, and the residents of host communities.
"The DOT will continue to develop minimum health and safety guidelines for the tourism sub-sectors to prepare LGUs in the safe reopening of their destinations," it added.