IATF, maglalabas ng guidelines para sa ‘staycation’ sa GCQ areas

Robie de Guzman   •   September 15, 2020   •   196

MANILA, Philippines – Tiniyak ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) na maglalabas ito ng guidelines para sa pagpapatupad ng ‘staycation’ sa mga lugar na nasa ilalim ng general community quarantine.

Binabalangkas pa sa ngayon ng Department of Tourism (DOT) ang panuntunan para dito matapos payagan ng IATF ang kanilang rekomendasyon.

Paglilinaw naman ni Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, limitado lang ang ‘staycation’ at papayagan lang ito sa mga taong nakatira mismo sa siyudad, lalawigan at rehiyon na maaari nang tumanggap ng hotel bookings o reservation.

“A staycation shall involve a minimum overnight stay for leisure purposes in a DOT-accredited Accommodation Enterprise located in proximity with one’s residence. For instance, residents of the NCR can staycation within NCR subject to the requirements of the Local Government Unit,” ang pahayag ni Romulo-Puyat.

Kailangan din aniya na masunod ang mga patakarang ipinatutupad ng lokal na pamahalaan na nakakasakop sa isang hotel.

Pabor naman sa ‘staycation’ ang mga alkalde sa Metro Manila pero kailangan anilang matukoy muna kung aling mga hotel sa Kalakhang Maynila ang papayagang tumanggap ng mga bisita lalo’t ginagamit ang ilan sa mga ito bilang quarantine facilities.

“Papayagan naman yung staycation pero hindi pwedeng magsama ang positive quarantine place sa staycation, that is why we need to identify which hotels are allowed and not allowed,” ang wika ni Jojo Garcia, ang general manager ng Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

Una nang inaprubahan ng IATF ang panukalang staycation sa mga hotel bilang bahagi ng mga hakbang para makabangon ang ekonomiya at sektor ng turismo sa bansa lubhang naapektuhan ng COVID-19 pandemic. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

GCQ extended in Metro Manila until end of November

Maris Federez   •   October 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until November 30.

President Rodrigo Duterte made the announcement in a taped address to the nation aired on Tuesday (Oct. 27), after meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

The President has also decided to keep Batangas, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Tacloban City, Iligan City and Lanao del Sur under GCQ until the end of November.

Nevertheless, local government units still have until October 28 to appeal to the IATF on the quarantine classification of their respective areas for the next month.

Metro Manila mayors have earlier stated that they want to keep the GCQ status for the NCR until the end of the year. They, however, applied eased restrictions on movement, travel, and business.

Except for Navotas City, the whole of NCR is implementing lesser curfew hours to allow more businesses to recover.

The Philippines had been under community quarantine classification since March due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. —(with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

Philippines to allow entry to foreigners with investor visas starting Nov. 1

Robie de Guzman   •   October 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign nationals with investors visa will soon be allowed to enter the Philippines, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on Thursday allowed the entry of foreigners starting November 1.

“These foreign nationals include those with visas issued by the Bureau of Immigration pursuant to Executive Order No. 226, or the Omnibus Investments Code, as amended, and Republic Act. No. 8756; those with 47(a)(2) visas issued by the Department of Justice; and those visas issued by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority,” Roque said in a statement.

The Palace official, however, stressed that the entry of these foreigners to the country is subject to conditions.

“(T)hey must have valid and existing visa at the time of the entry and must likewise have a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility,” Roque said.

“In addition, they must be subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry and must follow applicable immigration laws, rules and regulations,” he added.

The government earlier said it will be easing travel restrictions to help the country’s economy recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The Philippines imposed travel restrictions in February to curb the spread of novel coronavirus disease.

Hotels may soon be allowed to accept more guests – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hotels in areas classified under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ will soon be allowed to accept guests at full capacity in a bid to help the tourism industry recover from the effects of the pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has given the authority to the DOT to determine the allowable operational capacity for hotels, including those that offer staycations.

Puyat, however, stressed that the decision to open at 100% capacity will be up to the hotel management and subject to compliance with safety guidelines.

The announcement follows the issuance last week of an IATF resolution which amends the provision that only allows establishments in GCQ areas to operate with a skeleton work force.

For accommodation establishments in areas declared to be under MGCQ, Resolution No. 79 provides that the DOT shall determine their allowable operational capacity from the previous provision for a maximum of 50% operational capacity.

Operational capacity is defined by the IATF as such a number of employees who can be permitted to physically report to work on-site.

“Also approved in the said resolution is the easing up of interzonal and intrazonal movement, which is the predicate to reviving domestic tourism,” Puyat said.

“Along with this comes the need to ready the whole tourism value chain, which includes the accommodation, transportation, and tour operation sectors. Allowing the accommodation sector to operate at full capacity will be most welcomed by tourism’s workforce that has been greatly affected since the community lockdown,” she added.

The DOT is set to issue guidelines for the expanded operational capacity of hotels, she further stated.

Puyat earlier directed all hotels and other tourism establishments in GCQ areas to secure a DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycations (DCAOS) prior to accommodating any guests for that purpose.

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