MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Tourism (DOT) has reiterated its stance on implementing stricter health protocols to prevent mass “super spreader” events in Boracay.
The department said it is closely coordinating with local officials and tourism establishments on the island to ensure a stricter implementation of health and safety protocols.
“The DOT reiterates that the safety of tourism destinations such as Boracay is a shared responsibility among the government, community members, businesses, and visitors,” the department said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the DOT also commended the Municipal Government of Malay for its swift action to issue a Memorandum to Conduct an Investigation to concerned business establishments.
It also reminds tourists to be responsible and to observe minimum health standards such as wearing masks and face shields, practice frequent and proper handwashing, and ensure physical distancing at all times. –AAC
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) has filed charges against six Manila-based tourists who were nabbed in January 2021 for falsification of public documents after presenting fake COVID-19 swab test results in an attempt to enter Boracay Island.
Marc Judicpa of the DOT Region VI-Boracay Field and Compliance Monitoring Office (BFCMO) filed the complaint against the errant tourists.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo said such legal action should serve as warning to others and stressed that the agency will continue to be vigilant to ensure that these collaborative interventions will deter entry of such delinquent and unwanted visitors in the enforcement of existing health and safety protocols.
The DOT welcomes the directive from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to the Philippine National Police (PNP) to execute the arrest and prosecution of individuals who are forging their RT-PCR tests.
The DILG reiterated that it is a crime punishable under Republic Act (RA) No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act which provides for penalties of P20,000 but not more than P50,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.
Furthermore, the DOT draws emphasis to the importance of tightening the registration procedure for tourists to curb the spread of COVID-19 and other variants.
These involve, among others, validation of the submitted COVID test results and hotel bookings before a QR code is given for validation at ports of entry.
“In anticipation of the further relaxation of regulations governing inter- and intra-regional movements, the LGUs should be prepared to address an increase in the number of applications and visits. Enforcement is key and we must all do our share in keeping Boracay safe,” the Secretary added.
Boracay received 11,898 visitors in January 2021 alone, with an average 300 to 400 tourists a day.
Meanwhile, the DOT Region VI-BFCMO will continue to work closely with the local government units (LGUs) of Aklan and Malay to ensure enforcement of minimum health and safety protocols at the DOT-accredited accommodation establishments (AEs) and other tourism enterprises (TEs) and in the island, in general.
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