Palawan hailed as ‘Best Island in the World’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 10, 2020   •   1436

Palawan is again hailed as the “best island in the world,” by international travel magazine Travel+Leisure.

“It’s dramatic at sea level, with mountains rising directly from the ocean palm-edged beaches. Though it’s difficult to reach from many parts of the world, once travelers get there they can dive in World War II wrecks, explore old-growth rain forests, and paddle one of the world’s longest subterranean rivers at Puerto Princesa,” according to Travel+Leisure magazine.

The magazine released its Top 25 Best Islands in the world on Wednesday (July 9), in which Palawan ranked first with a score 94.83. This is the fourth time the island topped the list.

One of the fans wrote, “The landscape and scenery are just gorgeous. It offers the most beautiful beaches, resorts, and scenery anywhere.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism celebrated Palawan’s recognition. DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that the “rehabilitation and sustainable development efforts last year, especially in El Nido and Coron, were well-received by tourists everywhere.” AAC

Palawan thumbs down bid to divide province into three – Comelec

Robie de Guzman   •   March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Palawan will remain as one province, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Tuesday.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the Provincial Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (BOC) proclaimed at past 5 p.m. that the “no” vote won in the plebiscite held over the weekend to ask residents if they agree to ratify Republic Act 11259 that proposed the division of the province into three.

“The BOC just proclaimed the rejection of the proposed division of the Province of Palawan,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez said the BOC canvassed a total of 122,223 ‘yes’ votes and 172,304 ‘no’ votes with only one municipality unaccounted for.

The poll body said 22 out of 23 municipalities have been canvassed with a voter turnout of 60 percent.

“With a 60% voter turnout, the people of Palawan have spoken loud and clear. The COMELEC thanks all its partners in conducting the massively successful #PalawanPleb,” Jimenez said.

The plebiscite was held as required under Republic Act 11259 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019 for the proposed creation of the provinces of Palawan del Norte, Palawan del Sur, and Palawan Oriental.

COVID-19 test results still required as Puerto Princesa reopens to domestic tourists

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Puerto Princesa City has reopened its attractions to domestic tourists. However, RT-PCR test will still be required before they can visit the city.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Puerto Princesa reopened on March 1 and tourists who wish to visit the city will have to take the RT-PCR test before travel with 48 hours validity.

“The negative test result should be e-mailed directly by the Department of Health (DOH)-accredited testing facility to the City’s Incident Management Team (IMT),” the DOT said.

To attract more tourists, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the easing of travel requirements.

Puyat said quarantine will no longer be required, but visitors must still have a confirmed booking from a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment and travel agency for guided tours.

For contact tracing, Puerto Princesa will use the StaySafe.ph system.

“Wala na ang quarantine except siyempre kung may sintomas, (There is no need for quarantine unless the individual is exhibiting symptoms),” Puyat said.

Puerto Princesa City Vice Mayor Nancy Socrates reiterated that COVID-19 testing will still be needed if the tourists are staying for several days.

“Mayroon pa rin po tayong antigen testing na nire-require every third day and seventh day ng stay nila dito and bukod po sa iyong in place na po ang ating protocols (We still have antigen testing which we require every third and seventh day of their stay. This is apart from the protocols in place. This is additional monitoring and tracking of our guests),” she said.

Puyat assured that tourism frontliners are included in the priority list for COVID-19 vaccines. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Boracay’s White Beach, El Nido’s Nacpan Beach make list of TripAdvisor’s top beaches in Asia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Boracay’s white beach, and El Nido, Palawan’s Nacpan Beach are among the top beaches in Asia, according to TripAdvisor.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) celebrates the inclusion of two of the country’s famous beaches. TripAdvisor has ranked White Beach at the 12th spot and El Nido, Palawan’s Nacpan Beach at 18th.

“The TripAdvisor recognition is all the more heartwarming as sun and beach have always been the country’s best tourism products,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Puyat also said the two beaches are among the first destinations the tourism department has opened up.

Based on the travel survey, travelers have new preferences when it comes to choosing holiday destinations due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The DOT noted that other key implications from the evolved travelers’ preferences, based on TripAdvisor, include outdoors and well-ventilated areas over confined spaces or facilities which re-circulate air.

Meanwhile, Puyat reminded travelers about the health and safety protocols in various tourist destinations in the country.

“And while we celebrate our beaches being named among the best in Asia, please be responsible tourists when travelling. Follow all the health and safety protocols for a safe and fun beach trip,” she said. AAC

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