Intramuros as 'healing' space reserved for vulnerable population on Saturdays

The "Walled City" of Intramuros will open its open-air sites as venues for morning exercises exclusively for the vulnerable population on Oct. 30.

The move is to provide them with an alternative and safer venue for leisurely activity.

Fort Santiago, Intramuros (Photo from Department of Tourism)

"We wish to give our fellow Filipinos, especially those who belong to the vulnerable sector, a breathing, healing and comfortable space," Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

According to Puyat, the Intramuros Administration will allot two hours every Saturday 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for senior citizens, persons with disability (PWDs), pregnant women, and persons with health risks to do their morning exercises at Fort Santiago and Baluarte de San Diego.

"We see this as an opportunity for them to enjoy the green spaces of Intramuros for their overall health and well-being," the DOT chief added.

Full vaccinated vulnerable individuals can avail of this exclusive arrangement through an advance ticket reservation here.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases earlier approved the recommendation to place the National Capital Region (NCR) under Alert Level 3 until the end of the month.

The DOT welcomed this development, adding that the eased restrictions under Alert Level 3 are a "big boost" to tourism-oriented establishments and will help restore the jobs of displaced industry workers.

The Intramuros Administration reopened the historic Walled City to the public last Sept. 16 but at a limited capacity and shortened operating hours.

Three sites resumed operations namely Fort Santiago, which will accommodate only 150 visitors at a time; Baluarte De San Diego with a capacity of 80 visitors; and Plaza San Luis with only 100 visitors.

Here is the operating schedule of the Intramuros spots:

• Fort Santiago — 9 a.m. to 7 a.m. (Weekdays), 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Weekends); P75 entrance fee for regular visitors, P50 for seniors, students, and PWDs

• Baluarte de San Diego — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; P75 entrance fee for regular visitors, P50 for seniors, students, and PWDs

• Plaza San Luis — 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

The DOT advised visitors to download the StaySafe app for faster entry into the park premises, while manual contact tracing forms will still be available at entrances for those without access to mobile phones.