DOT postpones nationwide mall sale to prioritize safety of citizens

Maris Federez   •   February 29, 2020   •   616

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Saturday postponed the nationwide mall sale portion of the 2020 Philippine Shopping Festival until further notice.

The DOT’s statement released on Saturday (Feb. 29) said the decision was brought about by the alarming rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections all over the world that occurred in the past few days.

The agency said the move prioritizes the safety of its citizens more than visitor arrivals and revenue.

The tourism department also said that it has coordinated with the mall establishments and is thankful for their support on the decision to postpone the nationwide sale to a later date for the safety of their customers.

It added, however, that the malls are still free to continue its day to day operations.

The DOT also recommends that malls follow the precautionary measures set by the Department of Health (DOH) such as checking the temperatures of mall-goers before allowing them to enter and the provision of more hand sanitizers in their premises.

“As much as we want to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19, the safety of our citizens remains our priority. We advise the general public to maintain proper hygiene and follow the guidelines set by the Department of Health to contain the spread of the virus,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

It can be recalled that during the Alert Level 4 phase of the Taal Eruption, the DOT also recommended to cease the operations of all tourism establishments in the affected areas in the interest of public safety and welfare. — /mbmf

DOT announces Boracay now open to youths, seniors from Western Visayas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 24, 2020

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has announced that young and senior tourists from Western Visayas are now allowed to visit Boracay Island.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Boracay will reopen for tourists, ages below 21 and above 60, from Western Visayas.

“This move aims to further reinvigorate the tourism economy in the region and address the earlier clamor of Boracay tourism stakeholders to attract more tourists to the island,” she said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Thursday (July 23) approved the DOT’s recommendation to lift the ban on tourists below 21 and above 60 on Boracay island.

Puyat assured the government will continue to put the safety of the public first and will strictly implement health and safety protocol as the island reopens. She also noted that there were no reported coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on the island.

“The DOT will always put paramount concern on the safety of our people — tourists and residents alike,” she said. AAC

DOT mandates maximum of double occupancy for hotels under ‘new normal’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 21, 2020

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has mandated hotels and other tourism-related accommodations to only have a maximum of double occupancy as part of the ‘new normal’.

According to DOT Usec. Arturo Boncato, they will limit the occupancy or capacity of hotel accommodations up to two persons per room. This also includes limiting the number of customers in restaurants.

“DOT will be mandating a maximum of double occupancy for all of the hotels. And for restaurants starting with 50% occupancy in terms of operations for in-dining,” he said.

The Tourism Department said they will release the set of policies to be implemented once the operation of tourism-related establishments resume under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Other safety measures include regular sanitation and disinfection, supply of sanitation/disinfecting provisions for workers; regular inspection of health and safety standards being implemented. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Over 1,000 stranded tourists across the Philippines return home

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 4, 2020

Over 1,000 stranded tourists in various destinations in the country have returned home, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in a statement said that the groups arrived from various local airports on seven sweeper flights arranged by the DOT.

“A total of 1,049 distressed travelers reached Manila in succeeding schedules. On Friday, 180 tourists arrived from Puerto Princesa, 60 from El Nido and 144 from Boracay,” the DOT said in a statement.

DOT-NCR Regional Director Woodrow C. Maquiling, Jr. said the returning tourists were subjected to rapid anti-body testing at the airport. He also reported that none of them tested positive for the coronavrus disease (COVID-19).

“To date, the DOT has assisted some 22,264 foreign visitors and 2,505 local tourists stranded in the past month-and-half under ECQ,” the DOT said. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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