The Palawan Provincial Tourism Office reiterated the importance of following quarantine protocols particularly by domestic tourists who wish to travel to major tourist destinations in Palawan that are now open for leisure.
In an advisory posted on Saturday, January 16, 2021, on its official Facebook page (Palawan Tourism), the Palawan Provincial Tourism Office reminded tourists to follow the protocols and be mindful of all the rules and regulations including having transactions with accredited tour operators and accommodation facilities.
“To those wanting to visit El Nido and other open destinations in Palawan like Coron and Busuanga, please make sure to follow the protocols. Book with accredited tour operators and stay in accommodation facilities with Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO),” the advisory said.
It added that only domestic tourists who will fly directly to El Nido from outside Palawan are allowed to enter El Nido via Lio Airport.
This, after an El Nido bound young couple tourist from Batangas fell victim to a bogus Puerto Princesa based travel agency owned by a certain Luciano Louwiel Dagaraga Legaspi whom they transacted with through Facebook.
Legaspi allegedly offered help to secure an APOR (authorize person outside resident) permit in Puerto Princesa City instead of flying directly to El Nido and undergo quarantine protocols in town.
A police report said the couple arrived in Puerto Princesa City on January 11, via a Cebu Pacific flight and had undergone 3-day quarantine at a local hotel before they traveled to El Nido on January 14, where they found out that they were booked at a non-accredited accommodation and there was no tour package booked as well.
Legaspi now faces estafa after swindling Php12,000 from the victims and currently under custody of Puerto Princesa City Police Office after he was arrested through an entrapment operation on Friday, January 15.
El Nido reopened its tourist destinations las October 1 for Palawan-based tourists and began accepting domestic tourists on November 2. Among the requirements are a QR-coded tourist ID which can be obtained after accomplishing the required documents through their official website (elnidotourism.ph) which include RT-PCR test 48 hours before flight, health declaration form, a reservation in a DOT-accredited and CAO certified accommodation establishment, and a travel itinerary.
On December 1, 2020, Coron and Busuanga also opened its doors to domestic tourists requiring them to present negative RT-PCR test result at least 48 to 72 hours before the flight, a booking in a DOT-accredited and CAO certified accommodation and health declaration form via its website corontourism.ph.
Since June 1, 2020, Palawan remains under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) wherein tourism and leisure activities are allowed at 50 percent.