Philippine islands named top favorites in Asia by int’l travel magazine

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 7, 2020   •   293

The Philippines dominated the Conde Naste Traveler’s (CNT) list of top islands in Asia.

Cebu and Visayas Islands have been named among Top Island in Asia while Palawan, Siargao, and Boracay ranked fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said it will be a challenge for the department to continue advocating sustainable and responsible tourism practices that will help preserve these destinations.

“This latest citation from CNT gives us in the Department of Tourism (DOT) a boost of confidence, as we continuously carry out our strategies to gradually reopen domestic tourism, to once again welcome travelers from other countries when things become better,” she said. AAC

Healthcare workers involved in selling of blood plasma will face sanctions — DOH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 11, 2020

Health workers will face sanctions if it is proven that they are involved in the sale of convalescent plasma of COVID-19 survivors, the Department of Health (DOH) warned.

Investigation of the Health Department showed several hospital staff in Cebu City are involved in the illegal trade of blood plasma. The DOH said there are only four facilities authorized to collect plasma from COVID-19 survivors: The Philippine Blood Center, Philippine Red Cross in Port Area, St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig and Quezon City, and UP-PGH in Manila.

Based on the DOH Administrative Order No. 36 Section 46, a medical professional proven to be involved in illegal activities could have his or her license revoked.

“Recommendation to revoke the certificate of registration or to suspend said certificate to practice the profession and to invalidate the professional license of any health professional involved in misrepresentation of facts or falsification of documents or records especially medical, laboratory or inspection results and certificates, or in violation of R.A. No. 7719 and the herein Rules, by the Professional Regulation Commission upon recommendation of the Secretary,” according to the administrative order.

DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire reminds the public that buying plasma from unauthorized individuals is dangerous due to lack of proper screening by health professionals.

“Maraming sakit pa na nata-transmit if we sell our blood lalo na iyon mga hindi na screen (There are a lot of diseases that can be transmitted if we sell our blood, especially when it is not screened),” she said. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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DOT announces Boracay now open to youths, seniors from Western Visayas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 24, 2020

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has announced that young and senior tourists from Western Visayas are now allowed to visit Boracay Island.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Boracay will reopen for tourists, ages below 21 and above 60, from Western Visayas.

“This move aims to further reinvigorate the tourism economy in the region and address the earlier clamor of Boracay tourism stakeholders to attract more tourists to the island,” she said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Thursday (July 23) approved the DOT’s recommendation to lift the ban on tourists below 21 and above 60 on Boracay island.

Puyat assured the government will continue to put the safety of the public first and will strictly implement health and safety protocol as the island reopens. She also noted that there were no reported coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on the island.

“The DOT will always put paramount concern on the safety of our people — tourists and residents alike,” she said. AAC

Palawan hailed as ‘Best Island in the World’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 10, 2020

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

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