With the upcoming reopening of Puerto Princesa City’s tourism industry this coming December along with municipalities in Palawan like El Nido, Coron, and San Vicente, there are some establishments such as travel agencies, hotels, resorts, and restaurants who are not considering the resumption of their business operations this year.
Palawan Tourism Council President Rix Rafols is aware of the situation and understands why some of their members choose not to reopen their businesses especially in Puerto Princesa. Even though he has no data on the number of these establishments, many of them point out cost as the basic reason for opting not to operate.
“Hindi naman gano’n kadali ‘yung protocols na binigay ng Department Of Tourism, ng protocols ng Inter Agency Task Force. Hindi po madali at magastos pa. Marami po sa aming mga establishment sa tourism na baka hindi pa kayanin na mag-open dahil mayroon tayong mga requirements katulad ng isolation rooms, mga isolation places, mga safety officers, marami pong protocols. Sa totoo lang po hindi madali,” Rafols said.
But Rafols personally believes and salutes the idea of re-opening tourism as soon as possible for local residents. He believes it is a great move and definitely needed in these times to slowly bounce back our economy in the island.
“Napakaganda ‘yan because kailangan natin buksan naman… actually bukas naman ang Puerto, marami ng restaurant, ‘yung malls bukas naman, ‘yung ibang establishment bukas na. Ang kagandahan lang nito, pina-publicize natin na sinasabi sa mga tao na the protocols are in place. Basically consumer confidence ang ginagawa ng Puerto, maganda pong move dahil step-by-step,” Rafols added.
Rafols said that both the national government requirements, such as for DOT Accreditation pass, and the local government rules are needed in order to operate again. This will boost the local mindset that we are ready and prepared even before the needed vaccine will be available in the market.
“Sa Palawan Tourism Council, gustong-gusto po natin ‘to dahil kailangan palakasin ‘yung consumer confidence. Sa ngayon, marami pa ring natatakot pero magiging part na ‘to sa buhay natin. Dapat ngayon pa lang, masanay na tayo sa mga protocols, na baka hanggang sa susunod na taon o hanggang next year pa ganito pa rin ang protocols, so dapat sanayin natin ang sarili natin, dapat matuto na tayo at sumunod sa protocol and of course dapat mag-have fun, hindi natin dapat kalimutan na pag lumalabas tayo dapat nag eenjoy, baka palagi na lang protocol wala ng enjoyment, dapat hand in hand, safety and enjoyment,” Rafols said in closing.