Staycations will help boost hotel industry, domestic tourism amid pandemic – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2020   •   193

MANILA, Philippines – Several hotels in Metro Manila have opened for “staycations” amid general community quarantine, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said at least 10 luxury hotels have resumed normal operations after they were issued with certificates of authority to operate for staycations.

These hotels include Grand Hyatt Manila and Shangri-La at the Fort in Taguig City, Hryatt Regency City of Dreams, Makati Shangri-La, EDSA Shangri-La in Mandaluyong City, Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites in Pasig City, Solaire Resort, Okada Manila, Nobu Hotel in Parañaque City, and City of Dreams Manila – Nüwa.

“People living in NCR, they want to go out and they want to have a sense of normalcy. And staycation is nothing new. They’ve been doing it in Singapore, in Japan; and it’s very safe. That’s why we have–we follow the minimum health and safety protocols,” Romulo-Puyat said.

DOT guidelines define staycations as a minimum of an overnight stay for leisure purposes in hotels not being used as isolation or quarantine facilities.

The tourism chief said amended guidelines for accommodation establishments have already been issued to ensure safety of guests amid the pandemic.

The tourism chief said families may take part in a short staycation activity as this allows guests of all ages; provided, that they are COVID-free based on a rapid antigen test conducted on the same day of check-in.

“Filipinos di ba laging travel as a family. So, when we mentioned this staycation that we removed the age restrictions, masaya syempre yung mga pamilya kasi they really want to be with their apos. So, at least, this is a good chance for them,” she said.

The DOT is optimistic that staycations will help boost domestic tourism, revive the hotel industry, and pave the way for job generation.

“In 2019, tourism employed 5.7 million people. As of today, 4.8 million have already been affected. Either they lost their jobs or the salaries got lower. So, we really need to restart. We need to get jobs back,” Romulo-Puyat said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Relaxed travel restrictions still pose health risks—UP OCTA Research

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 23, 2020

Experts from the University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research team said relaxed travel restrictions may still pose health risks.

Dr. Guido David, team member of the UP OCTA Research, said it is too early for the country to accept inbound travels and that further review is needed to avoid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission.

“There’s a surge happening right now in Europe so if we were not careful, maraming cases [there are a lot of cases] outside the Philippine, in Europe and certain parts of the world, kasama pa rin diyan iyong sa (these includes) the United States and India. So we have to be careful about letting people,” he said.

David also said despite the drop of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila, there is still a possibility for cases to increase if no safety measures is implemented.

“We’re also a bit worried because the rate of decrease in NCR is not that low anymore. It’s very slow. So it could be, the trend might be reversing anytime,” he added.

Services of Red Cross should also resume first, according to David, because its testing capacity covers 1/4 of the total testing capacity of the country. He also reiterated the need for the public to cooperate in order to fight against the virus.

“The public should be aware that the virus is still here. That the pandemic is not yet over. So if they’re loosening restrictions, responsibility is in the public in deciding whether or not they want to go out,” he said. -AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda).

Kaso ng COVID-19 transmission sa Cebu City, bumababa na – Cimatu

Robie de Guzman   •   October 23, 2020

Patuloy nang bumababa ng antas ng COVID-19 transmission sa Cebu City kasabay ng pagdami naman ng mga gumagaling mula sa sakit, ayon kay DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Batay sa hawak nilang impormasyon ngayong buwan ng Oktubre, sinabi ni Cimatu na nasa 1 hanggang 0.5 percent ang positivity rate sa lungsod.

Ibig sabihin aniya ay isa na lang ang nagpopositibo sa sakit sa bawat 100 na isinasailalim sa COVID-19 testing.

Ngayong Oktubre, umabot sa 9,307 ang bilang ng mga gumaling mula sa COVID-19 at walang napaulat na nasawi.

“If you look at the data, more than 600 death ang all of Cebu City since June and bigla na lang naging zero, what is this? This the indication really of the success of the effort of this team,” ang pahayag ni Cimatu.

Si Cimatu ay nagsisilbing chief implementor ng COVID-19 response ng pamahalaan sa Cebu City. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Irish Madelo)

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Pamamahagi ng libreng bisikleta sa mga nawalan ng trabaho, sisimulan sa Oct. 26 – DOLE

Robie de Guzman   •   October 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Sisimulan na sa Lunes, Oktubre 26, ang pamamahagi ng libreng bisikleta sa mga nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa COVID-19 pandemic, ayon sa Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Ayon kay Atty Karina Perida-Trayvilla, direktor ng DOLE – Bureau of Workers and Special Concerns, layunin ng proyekto na tulungan ang mga Pilipinong magkaroon ng trabaho sa gitna na rin ng mataas na demand para sa delivery ng food at non-food items.

“Starting Monday (October 26) to Wednesday, October 28, we will be awarding, it will be held at the DOLE office,” ani Trayvilla.

“We will be giving a total of 900 free bikes for the initial implementation of this project,” dagdag pa niya.

Ang mga bisikleta ay ibibigay lamang sa mga lubhang naapektuhan ng krisis.

Sa mga nais makakuha ng bisikleta, maaari silang pumunta sa pinakamalapit na DOLE field office of sa public employment service office para sa gagawing profiling.

Ang mga magku-qualify sa proyekto ay maaaring sumailalim sa social preparation training upang maturuan ng traffic regulations at iba pang panuntunan upang maging deliver service riders.

Sasailalim rin sila sa financial literacy at productivity training katuwang ang regional tripartite wages and productivity board.

Ibabahagi rin sa kanila ang occupational safety at health standards ng isa pang ahensiya na nasa ilalim ng DOLE.

Ayon sa DOLE, isasagawa rin ang ganitong proyekto sa iba pang regional offices.

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