PH mulls lifting 'stringent’ protocols by year-end

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

October 20, 2022, 8:44 am

<p>Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco <em>(PNA photo)</em></p>

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco (PNA photo)

MANILA – The Philippine government is considering lifting "stringent restrictions" by end of 2022 in a bid to attract more travelers to the country, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said Wednesday.

Speaking before the foreign buyers present at the 2022 Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX), the largest government-led business-to-business trade event, Frasco reported that the country has already breached the projected 1.7 million inbound tourists as early as October 2022.

"I understand there (are) still concerns regarding stringent protocols coming into the Philippines and therefore I am pleased to inform you that the direction of the Marcos administration is to lift these stringent protocols by the end of the year to ensure that we fully convey that the Philippines is open and ready to receive tourists," Frasco said in a speech.

The DOT, however, has yet to provide details when asked about what "stringent restrictions" are under consideration.

In a separate presser, Tourism Promotions Board Chief Operating Officer Marga Nograles said that Frasco, during the last pandemic task force meeting, had been "representing the tourism industry to make sure we have this better experience for travelers".

"For the mask for instance, I think we don't have a final recommendation yet but she really fought for it... And I think even the One Health Pass, it is something that they wanted to be considered among others but I know she's outlining a number of things moving forward," she said.

In an earlier Manila Bulletin report, the Bureau of Quarantine was quoted as saying that the One Health Pass, which are being used for arriving passengers from international flights, has been replaced by the "eArrival card". (PNA)