DOT hoping for uniform travel rules from LGUs
The Manila Cathedral and surrounding buildings in Intramuros, Manila are seen illuminated at night in this file photo. The old walled city of Intramuros has been adjudged the world’s leading tourist attraction for this year at the 27th World Travel Awards.

DOT hoping for uniform travel rules from LGUs

Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - November 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) is hoping for eventual uniformity in the requirements needed for traveling to domestic destinations.

In an interview on radio dzMM, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that as various tourist destinations in the country are beginning to open, the requirements tourists need to comply with vary per destination.

She emphasized that the travel requirements per destination are determined by the respective local government units (LGUs) – except for Boracay, which falls under the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF).

“It’s not one size fits all,” Puyat said, adding that she hopes the LGUs will eventually have common or uniform travel requirements.

“Our mayors and governors are elected officials. We give them that respect because if an outbreak occurs, they will be the ones responsible. So they are being careful,” Puyat said.

“But eventually, we hope that it will be uniform so that you don’t need to download a certain app when you go to a different destination,” she added.

Destinations that have opened up to domestic tourists have been requiring travelers to download specific mobile applications as a requirement, through which a health declaration is filled up by the tourists, as well as other requirements that need to be complied with.

Puyat said the DOT is also moving for an app that will house all traveler’s documentary requirements and will give them a QR code instead of holding physical copies of their documents.

Last month the DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) launched Travel Philippines, a progressive web application that will allow travelers to create itineraries while being updated on the latest health and safety announcements, as domestic destinations begin to open their doors to tourists.

The app provides users access to the latest travel advisories and safety guidelines in various destinations that have reopened to tourism.

The easy-to-use platform allows users to create itineraries for their future trips, find up-to-date information on their favorite tourist attractions and securely store digital copies of travel documents.

The application features an extensive database of various destinations and attractions that are reopening after the COVID-19 community quarantines.

At present, it features six major tourist destinations, namely Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Baguio, Ilocos Norte and Metro Manila.

The TPB said the database would be regularly updated with the latest information on these six locations, as well as more travel destinations around the Philippines

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