MANILA, Sept 23 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Tourism is checking the preparedness of tourist destinations for reopening amid the COVID-19 threat, Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said on Wednesday.
Bengzon noted that the department is pursuing a gradual resumption of tourism enterprises in the country.
“Unti-unti nating binubuksan ang ating tourist destinations. Ang instruction ni Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat is to make a slow but sure reopening of tourism activities,” he said.
“Tinitingnan pa po natin ‘yung ibang destinations na maaaring magbukas kasi kailangan preparado, handa ang ating destinations bago magbukas,” he added.
Bengzon said the gradual reopening of Boracay already started in June initially for Aklan residents only, then eventually for the residents of entire Western Visayas.
Starting October 1, tourists from Ilocos Region will also be allowed to visit Baguio City.
Bengzon said that tourist destinations under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) may resume operation with compliance to the guidelines set by the DOT in light of the COVID-19 threat.
He noted that the resumption of tourism activities should also have the approval of concerned local government units.
Bengzon said the DOT developed a platform called Visitor Information and Travel Assistance to monitor the compliance of tourism destinations to health protocols as well as the movement of tourists.
“The good thing about it, disiplinado’yung mga turista natin. I think , this is a good start,” Bengzon said. (MNS)