Restarting tourism in three major destinations in Palawan is not an immediate plan as health and safety protocols must be followed first hand before opening to guest and tourists said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat.
Puyat in a statement sent to Palawan Daily News reiterated that there is no definite date as to the reopening of Coron, El Nido and San Vicente for tourism. Based on the meeting they had last July 3 in El Nido with local chief executives, the program will depend with the local government units to which many of them still prioritize the health security of their constituents.
“The Department of Tourism sees domestic travel as the catalyst to reviving our industry. We are happy that Governor Alvarez had earlier expressed his intention to reopen tourism in the province as soon as all health and safety protocols are in place, and we will be pleased to work with you towards recovery every step of the way,” Puyat said.
On their consultative meeting, Puyat said that immediate plans and protocols are set for dry run in El Nido and San Vicente, however with no definite dates, while Coron awaits its real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines before proceeding with the opening for local tourists.
The tourism chief would like to remind the public that those who will qualify for the business reopening are only those who have DOT Accreditation and have DOT Certificates of Authority to operate, to ensure the health and safety of guests and tourism workers.
Puerto Princesa is not covered in the recovery program since it’s the provincial government of Palawan that needs the assistance of the department, so far, and Puyat understands the situation.
“We will always respect the decision of the LGU,” Puyat added.
Puyat said that Northern Palawan destinations incurred loss amounting to P3.1 billion in tourism revenues, and resulted to 14,000 displaced tourism workers.
The said meeting was attended by Palawan 1st District Rep. Franz Alvarez, 3rd District Rep. Gil Acosta, Jr, El Nido Mayor Edna Lim, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, San Vicente Mayor Amy Alvarez and Governor Jose Chavez Alvarez.