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Tourism dep’t seeking phaseout of local gov’t entry restrictions

L FILIPE C SOUSA-UNSPLASH

THE Department of Tourism (DoT) said it is in talks with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to withdraw entry restrictions on travelers imposed by local government units (LGUs).

Tourism Secretary Maria Esperanza Christina G. Frasco said during a dialogue with the Filipino community in London on Nov. 5 that she hopes the easing of local-travel rules will build confidence among potential visitors to the Philippines.

“We’re currently working with the DILG for the purpose of ensuring that any and all restrictions individually implemented by LGUs nationwide are lifted so that we have a national policy as far as the entry of tourists is concerned. The national policy being, to welcome our friends and family back into the Philippines,” Ms. Frasco said.

On Feb. 10, the Philippines started accepting nationals from countries that are allowed visa-free entry. Since April 1, borders have been opened to all nationals.

According to Ms. Frasco, “The effort to build confidence in the Philippines continues. We do this by conveying everything that is good and well about the Philippines. The warmth of the Filipino people, the talents of those who work within and outside of the Philippines, the products that we have to offer as well as the beauty of our destinations. It is a continuing effort.”

Ms. Frasco added that the DoT is expanding the Tourist Oriented Police for Community Order and Protection program in collaboration with the DILG and the Department of National Defense.

The process of building confidence includes “ensuring programs that will convey a certain level of security for tourists that come into the Philippines,” Ms. Frasco said.

Ms. Frasco said arrival requirements have been eased with the launch of the eArrival Card on Nov. 1, replacing the One Health Pass.

“The obtainment of the eArrival pass is no longer a prerequisite as it was with the One Health Pass before you board. We anticipate that this will provide great convenience to our tourists,” Ms. Frasco said.

Ms. Frasco also confirmed ongoing talks to resume the direct flights between Manila and London.

As of Oct. 25, the DoT said that tourist arrivals in the Philippines have totaled 1.83 million since borders reopened, surpassing its projection of 1.7 million arrivals. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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