September 14, 2020
Malacanang urged on Monday the public to give a chance to the tourism sector by allowing "staycations" in the hotels in areas under the general community quarantine like Metro Manila.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement following concerns that coronavirus disease might continue to spread after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases allowed staycations.
"According to the second National Action Plan of the National Task Force, we're gradually opening up our economy. And the plan of the DOT (Department of Tourism) is based on the gradual opening up of the tourism (sector)," he said.
"It's like, that marks the beginning of the reopening of our tourism industry here in Metro Manila. Let's give it a chance because just like our ad campaign, there's a need to take good care of the life in order for all of us to have jobs," Roque added.
The DOT had proposed that staycations be allowed to revive the tourism industry which has been greatly hit by the pandemic.
According to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, staycation means minimum overnight stay for leisure purposes in a DOT-accredited accommodation enterprise located near one's residence.
For instance, residents in Metro Manila can stay overnight in any accredited hotel in the region.
Meanwhile, on the concerns from the medical professionals that coronavirus might infect more people if the Department of Transportation would allow the easing of physical distancing protocols in public transport, Roque said this would be discussed with President Rodrigo Duterte.
He acknowledged that the IATF has approved this as part of further reopening the economy. But at the level of the President, he has to come up with a decision yet.
"Of course, we won't be deaf on the opinion of the medical frontliners. So, the issue on this will be discussed again in the next IATF meeting," Roque said. Celerina Monte/DMS
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