PH boosts tourism as WHO declares end of COVID-19 global health emergency

The Philippine government is bent on opening up more tourism activities in view of the declared end of the global health emergency due to COVID- a tourism official said.

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Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said the pandemic is over, so the Philippine government will push through with its goal to "open up the country to travel and tourism."

She stated this when asked whether or not the increasing travels and festivals in the country was a factor in the 12,414 Covid-19 cases recorded last week.

"Tapos na po yung pandemiya sabi po 'yan ng WHO (The pandemic is over according to the World Health Organization)," Frasco said in a palace briefing on Tuesday, May 16.

"Kaya naman po (That is why) while we continue to support the Department of Health’s measure as well as ensuring the health and safety of our fellow Filipinos, the direction for the Philippines is forward and that is to ensure that we continue to open up the country to travel and tourism as is the direction set by our President," Frasco added.

The Tourism chief said all minimum health and safety standards are in place, saying "this is also made sure of as far as compliance with our DOT accredited establishments."

The WHO on May 5 declared that the Covid-19 pandemic is no longer a global health emergency.

While it is no longer a global health emergency, public health expert Dr. Anthony “Tony” Leachon stressed that Covid-19 "hasn't gone away,"

He said precautions are still necessary and "we must fix what the pandemic has broken and exposed in our health system and society.”

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has approved the national tourism development plan (NTDP) for 2023 to 2028 which aims to establish a Philippine tourism industry anchored on Filipino culture, heritage, and identity to make the country a tourism powerhouse.