Andanar stresses importance of tourism stakeholders’ coordination

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The close coordination and cooperation of tourism stakeholders are vital to ensure the safety of travelers amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said on Friday.

Andanar issued the statement in the Cabinet Report on “The New Normal”, as he acknowledged the challenges to balance the reopening of tourism and ensuring public health and safety amid the pandemic.

Bottom line nito, kailangan ng close coordination at kooperasyon ng lahat ng mga tourism industry stakeholders upang mapanatili ang public health and safety (The bottom line here is, the close coordination and cooperation of all tourism industry stakeholders are necessary to maintain public health and safety),” he said.

Leisure travel from the National Capital Region Plus (NCR Plus) to destinations under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) has been allowed despite the country’s ongoing fight against Covid-19.

The NCR Plus covers Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has announced that leisure travel must be point-to-point only, which means that while pit stops or stopovers are allowed for eating and personal necessities, no side trips shall be made to other tourism destinations.

Commercial flights for leisure travel may also resume.

Andanar recognized that the revival of local tourism would help reboot the Philippine economy.

Hindi matatawaran ang halaga ng turismo sa ating ekonomiya. At dahil dito maraming bahagi ng bansa ang gusto nang buksan ang sarili sa mga turista (The contribution of tourism to our economy is incomparable. And because of that, many parts of the country already want to reopen their places to tourists),” he said.

Andanar also encouraged his fellow Filipinos to explore tourist stops in the country.

“Let’s revisit our country beginning with our own places and the places nearby and let’s rediscover the Philippines. I am almost sure that there is a lot more to it than we already know,” he said.

Individuals below 18 years old and more than 65 years old are allowed to travel on the condition that they undertake a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test before their travel.

Other inter-zonal travel regulations set by concerned local government units in MGCQ zones or by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force for Boracay Island should be complied with, the DOT said.

The stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) is imposed in the City of Santiago, Cagayan, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Puerto Princesa, Iloilo City, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Cagayan de Oro City, Butuan City, and Agusan del Sur until June 15.

Davao City, on the other hand, is under MECQ until June 20.

The NCR Plus, Abra, Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Batangas, Quezon, Iligan City, Davao City, Lanao del Sur, Cotabato City, and General Santos City are under GCQ until June 30.

The rest of the country stays under MGCQ until the end of the month. (PNA)

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