Fort Santiago, Baluarte de San Diego open for visitors beginning May 17

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 17, 2021   •   560

MANILA, Philippines — Intramuros will open several of its tourist attractions including Fort Santiago and Baluarte de San Diego beginning May 17.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has clarified that the two venues will be open but with limited capacity and shortened operating hours.

Puyat made the announcement after the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) eased the quarantine classification of the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.  The NCR Plus is currently under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.

“The re-opening of Fort Santiago and Baluarte San Diego will allow visitors to again experience the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction as recognized by the prestigious World Tourism Awards,” she said.

Fort Santiago will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. with the last entry for visitors at 6:30 p.m. The Baluarte de San Diego garden will be open to the general public from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fort Santiago will accommodate only 200 visitors while the Baluarte de San Diego will allow a maximum of 100 persons at a time which is below 30%.

Health and safety protocols will also be strictly followed. Guests will have their temperature checked and must register their visit thru a QR code system for contact tracing prior to entry.

For entrance fees, the Intramuros Administration (IA) said it can be paid through Beep cards or PayMaya.

Entrance fees cost P75. Seniors, students, and persons with disabilities may pay the discounted price of P50.

It is limited to visitors aged 18 to 65 in compliance with the age restrictions set by the IATF. AAC

Fully vaxxed people visiting Intramuros to get incentives – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday announced it will be granting incentives for fully vaccinated individuals who will visit the tourist site Walled City of Intramuros in Manila.

In a statement, the DOT said the move is part of its efforts to support the country’s vaccination program and to encourage more people to get their COVID-19 jabs.

“From November 15 to 30, 2021, individuals who have completed their vaccination within the same period may enter Fort Santiago free of charge,” the DOT said.

“During this period, fully vaccinated individuals visiting Fort Santiago and Baluarte San Diego will receive free Beep cards, with a cap of 50 guests per day,” it added.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat hopes that the move will encourage more people to receive their shots, adding that incentives and loosening restrictions for the fully vaccinated will help facilitate travel and help tourism destinations and businesses bounce back faster.

“The Department is doing whatever it can to aid the government’s vaccination program. Granting incentives is one way to encourage the undecided to oblige in this nationwide effort,” Puyat said.

To avail of the incentives, the DOT said guests must present their vaccination card or certificate (with indicative dates) at the entrance gates.

However, the DOT clarified that those who have not yet completed their vaccination may still enter both Fort Santiago and Baluarte San Diego by paying the P75 entrance fee for regular visitors, and P50 for discounted eligible visitors such as seniors, students and PWDs.

As early as September 14, the DOT announced that 100 percent of IA workers, including its outsourced security and janitorial staff, have been fully vaccinated.

Intramuros, other tourism sites in Manila to reopen on September 16

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat on Wednesday (September 15) announced the reopening of Rizal Park and three sites in Intramuros; namely Fort Santiago, Baluarte de San Diego, and Plaza San Luis under limited capacity and shortened operating hours on September 16.

In a statement, the DOT said that Rizal Park will be open from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. with a maximum capacity of 500 visitors at any given time.

Fort Santiago will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays with a maximum capacity of 150 visitors at any given time.

Meanwhile, Baluarte de San Diego will be operating daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will accommodate a maximum of 80 people at a time.

On the other hand, Plaza San Luis is free for those who want to visit but only from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm daily.

The tourism department, meanwhile, reiterates only those within the age of 18 to below 65 shall be allowed in both Rizal Park and the Intramuros sites.

“We continuously urge our tourists to strictly adhere to the health and safety protocols to sustain the resumption of tourism in the country,” Puyat said.

Meanwhile, the DOT said that to encourage more National Capital Region (NCR) residents to get their COVID-19 jabs, the DOT through the Intramuros Administration will set up an express lane for fully-vaccinated individuals who wish to visit Fort Santiago and Baluarte San Diego. AAC

Binondo-Intramuros Bridge set to open in Q1 2022 — DPWH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge Project is set to open in 2022, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, in a statement, assured that the installation of fabricated precast concrete slab panels is nearing its completion.

Of the 135 bored piles for abutments, piers, and ramps, 114 were already completed with the remaining 21 mostly at the Estero De Binondo area.

However, the DPWH reported that the presence of powerlines and other utilities along Estero de Binondo at the north approach bridge posed serious challenges in the tight schedule to complete the new bridge.

DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil Sadain said that the P3.39 billion project is about 77% complete.

He added that they are following up their request with Meralco to move or relocate distribution poles and overhead high tension lines that pose serious safety concerns in the ongoing construction of ramps in the Binondo and Intramuros area.

The construction of the 680 lineal meter basket-handle tied steel arch bridge connecting Intramuros (at Solana Street and Riverside Drive) and Binondo (at San Fernando Bridge) with a viaduct structure over Estero de Binondo is financed by a China Aid Grant.

Although the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the job site activity, the DPWH and contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation is taking proactive and preventive measures for workers in accordance with the construction health and safety guidelines amid the coronavirus disease threat, the department further said. AAC

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