Tourism has nothing to do with COVID-19 surge, says DOT Chief

Zamboanga City, May 20 (PIA) - Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat stressed tourism is not the reason for the surge of COVID-19 cases in the Zamboanga Peninsula region.

“Walang positive or COVID-19 cases na naitala dahil sa turismo”, explained Sec. Puyat during the recent Kapihan na Zamboanga Public Briefing of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-9.

The Department of Tourism (DOT)-9 has been very proactive in ensuring that travelers have the prescribed travel documents and Reverse Transcription - Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) negative results before entering the cities and provinces in the Region.

More so, the agency is also keen on double-checking all the accommodation facilities such as hotels, inns, resorts, and among others, where travelers stay for days to quarantine themselves as part of the COVID-19 preventive measures.

“The tourism ensures that all travelers and the Region’s identified isolation facilities are compliant to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines set by the concerned agencies, and our health experts”, she added.

Meanwhile, the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act also known as Bayanihan-2 has allotted Php36.7 million to DOT-9 as financial assistance to some 7,351 employees who lose their jobs because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“'Yung mga naghahanap buhay dahil sa turismo, lahat sila ay nabigyan ng P5,000 financial assistance each at kabilang dito ay ang mga empleyado sa resorts, hotels, tricycle drivers, masahista, dancers, at live entertainers,” said Sec. Puyat.

(Tourism workers were all given P5,000 financial assistance each to include employees of resorts, hotels, tricycle drivers, masseuses, dancers, and live entertainers)

According to Puyat, tourism in the region has a loss in revenue now reaching 85%.

“Before the pandemic, the tourism income is 3.4-Billion but because of the pandemic, tourism revenue is now at P484-M”, he concluded. (EDT/JRA/PIA9-Zamboanga City/Photo Courtesy of Department of Tourism-Zamboanga Peninsula)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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