MANILA, Philippines — Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said with the current shift of Metro Manila to Alert Level 4, certain changes in tourism activities will be implemented.
This includes allowing tourists to major destinations in Metro Manila in a limited capacity.
Puyat said the Rizal Park and the Walled City Intramuros in Manila are both opening to tourists effective September 16.
As for other destinations outside of the capital, Puyat said tourists should check on the concerned local government units (LGUs) if they are already allowing leisure travel in their areas.
Puyat stressed it is still the LGU who will decide on whether or not they will open tourism in their respective areas, especially to non-residents.
Under Alert Level 4, residents of the National Capital Region (NCR) will be allowed to exit the region to go to the provinces.
However, they have the obligation to check with their province of destination as NCR residents are allowed only in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).
“Kasi marami rin tayong tourist destination na kahit mababa ang kaso nila ayaw pa rin nilang tumanggap ng mga bisita, mga turista tulad ng Baguio. Sarado siya up to September 19. So kahit pwede na ang interzonal, intrazonal, hindi pa pwede [sa Baguio],” the DOT chief said.
Secretary Puyat said that though the tourism industry is gradually reopening, the public should still strictly observe minimum health and safety protocols against COVID-19.
Puyat added that they are giving discounted RT-PCR tests for tourists at P750 which can be taken at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC).
“Kunyare ikaw ay isang turista, gusto mong pumunta sa isang tourist destination, kailangan mo lang ipakita na nakabook ka sa isang DOT accredited hotel. Number 2 (ay) iyong return ticket,” she said.
According to Puyat, about 99% of hotel workers in the tourism sector in Metro Manila are already vaccinated and 94% among restaurant workers. –MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)