“The declaration of the community quarantine, which lacks guidelines and procedures, effectively shuts down tourism for the next weeks or months,” Tourism Congress of the Philippines president Jose Clemente III told The STAR.
AFP/Maria Tan
Month-long quarantine to affect tourism
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - March 14, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The month-long community quarantine in Metro Manila is expected to shut down the tourism industry, stakeholders said yesterday.

“The declaration of the community quarantine, which lacks guidelines and procedures, effectively shuts down tourism for the next weeks or months,” Tourism Congress of the Philippines president Jose Clemente III told The STAR.

“Immediately after the President’s address, booking cancellations started to pour in,” Clemente added.

On Thursday, President Duterte suspended land, air and sea travel to and from Metro Manila from March 15 to April 14 after the Department of Health placed the country under Code Red sub-level 2 alert due the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Duterte also expanded the travel ban to include countries that have local transmission of COVID-19.

Temporary travel bans were earlier declared on China, its special administrative regions Macau and Hong Kong as well as the North Gyeongsang province of South Korea.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said it is ready to work with stakeholders and local government units for the implementation of President Duterte’s directives to combat COVID-19, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Four-day workweek

The DOT will implement a four-day workweek as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

“The scheme applies to all regular employees and job order personnel at the agency’s central office and regional offices,” the DOT said in a department order issued on Thursday.

Under the order, DOT employees are required to report to work from Monday to Thursday, rendering a total of 40 hours a week, with not less than 10 hours per day.             – With Ghio Ong

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JOSE CLEMENTE III
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