DOT chief on Sen. Binay: 'Tama naman siya'

Published June 14, 2021, 6:48 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

Nancy is right.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat gave this admission Monday, June 14 after she was called out by Senator Nancy Binay for the non-wearing of face mask and face shield during the former’s encounter with social media star Scarlet Snow Belo.

(Photos from Scarlet Snow Belo’s Facebook)

“I agree with Senator Nancy. Tama naman siya. Kahit negative results ka sa RT-PCR (She is right. Even if you have negative results on the RT-PCR test), you still have to follow minimum health and safety protocols,” Puyat said in an interview over DZBB radio.

RT-PCR refers to the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test.

Puyat had uploaded an Instagram story of her photo with the six-year-old Belo without face masks and face shields during their tour of the South Farm in Panglao, Bohol.

Binay subsequently called out the tourism chief for supposedly violating public health safety measures.

According to Puyat, they were compliant with the face mask rule during the entire tour except for that photo opportunity.

In a separate media forum with the Provincial Government of Bohol on Monday, Puyat assured the public that no health protocol was violated during the trip. She said that everyone was tested and that the tour was coordinated with the LGU.

Puyat is currently in Bohol with the Belo family as part of the department’s campaign to encourage Filipinos to travel locally–especially with their families–with the easing of restrictions in some areas.

“Filipinos travel as a family. We want to promote na ang turismo is for families lalo na ngayong pandemya na matagal nang hindi nakakalabas ang mga lolo at lola, at ang mga apo (We want to promote that tourism is for families especially in this time of pandemic when our grandparents and grandchildren have been longing to go outdoors),” she explained.