DOT to intensify campaign to attract local tourists

Maris Federez   •   December 1, 2021   •   263

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) will ramp up its campaign to encourage Filipinos to visit the country’s many tourist destinations.

One of the DOT’s plans is to launch the “Tourism Circuit” campaign which will cover the country’s tourism circuits currently numbering to about 40 and are expected to increase to about 70 in the coming months.

“It’s inter-regional, so may heritage crawl, biking ang uso ngayon, bike circuits. Basta ang hinahanap ngayon ng new traveler is open air, open space culture, heritage. Gusto nila biking. In fact, sa TPB mayroon sila motorismo,” DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

To push for the opening of the various tourism sites in the country, the DOT is encouraging local government units to intensify the vaccination drive for tourism workers in their respective jurisdictions.

To date, the government has fully vaccinated 77% of tourism workers nationwide.

Puyat, meanwhile, reiterated that hotels and accommodation establishments must ensure that strict minimum health safety protocols are implemented. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

Burnham Green, Quirino Grandstand soon to host temporary mobile hospital, drive-thru vax site

Marje Pelayo   •   April 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on Wednesday (April 14) that a temporary mobile hospital and a drive-thru vaccination site will soon rise at the Rizal Park in Manila.

Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat confirmed the plan in response to the proposal of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso to establish a temporary mobile hospital at the Burnham Green of Rizal Park.

The proposal was agreed by the Board of Directors of the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Domagoso made such a request for a temporary mobile hospital in Rizal Park “in anticipation of a possible surge of COVID-19 cases” in the city.

The city mayor committed to design, construct, maintain, and manage the hospital “up to its logical conclusion,” at no cost to the national government.

Domagoso also promised to restore the Burnham Green area where the hospital will be constructed, back to its original condition.

Likewise, the Board also approved the construction of a temporary drive-thru vaccination site at the Independence Road (Parade Grounds) of the Quirino Grandstand, also under the management of the NPDC.

The temporary drive-thru vaccination site will be located beside the drive-thru RT-PCR testing facility managed by the City of Manila together with NPDC.

Secretary Puyat said that the mobile hospital will be open to everyone and will cater to patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.

Meanwhile, the temporary drive-thru vaccination site to be built at the Parade Grounds of Quirino Grandstand is expected to accommodate 350 to 400 individuals for vaccination per day.

Boracay tourists charged for forging COVID test results

Marje Pelayo   •   February 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) has filed charges against six Manila-based tourists who were nabbed in January 2021 for falsification of public documents after presenting fake COVID-19 swab test results in an attempt to enter Boracay Island.

Marc Judicpa of the DOT Region VI-Boracay Field and Compliance Monitoring Office (BFCMO) filed the complaint against the errant tourists.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo said such legal action should serve as warning to others and stressed that the agency will continue to be vigilant to ensure that these collaborative interventions will deter entry of such delinquent and unwanted visitors in the enforcement of existing health and safety protocols.

The DOT welcomes the directive from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to the Philippine National Police (PNP) to execute the arrest and prosecution of individuals who are forging their RT-PCR tests. 

The DILG reiterated that it is a crime punishable under Republic Act (RA) No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act which provides for penalties of P20,000 but not more than P50,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.   

Furthermore, the DOT draws emphasis to the importance of tightening the registration procedure for tourists to curb the spread of COVID-19 and other variants.

These involve, among others, validation of the submitted COVID test results and hotel bookings before a QR code is given for validation at ports of entry.   

“In anticipation of the further relaxation of regulations governing inter- and intra-regional movements, the LGUs should be prepared to address an increase in the number of applications and visits.  Enforcement is key and we must all do our share in keeping Boracay safe,” the Secretary added.   

Boracay received 11,898 visitors in January 2021 alone, with an average 300 to 400 tourists a day.   

Meanwhile, the DOT Region VI-BFCMO will continue to work closely with the local government units (LGUs) of Aklan and Malay to ensure enforcement of minimum health and safety protocols at the DOT-accredited accommodation establishments (AEs) and other tourism enterprises (TEs) and in the island, in general.

Result on City Garden Grand Hotel probe out this week – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Results of the investigation into the possible violations of City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City, where 23-year old flight attendant Christine Dacera died after partying with some friends, is expected to be out this week, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Tuesday.

“I was hoping to give a decision today pero hindi pwedeng i-rush. But don’t worry, by this week, lalabas na yan,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a press briefing.

The Tourism department last week issued a show-cause order against the hotel, directing its management to explain in writing within three days why its accreditation should not be revoked for possible violations for continuing to accept guests for leisure purposes when it is being used as a quarantine facility.

Government regulations state that an establishment being used as a quarantine or isolation facility are not allowed to provide accommodation for leisure purposes.

Puyat said the hotel already responded to the show-cause order and that the department conducted a physical investigation into the establishment last Friday.

She, however, declined to give any information about it but assured they are thoroughly probing the issue.

The tourism chief also assured that the DOT will do what is fair and just.

The hotel previously insisted that it claims no liability in Dacera’s death and that it is compliant with government policies. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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