Passionate travelers have been itching to get out of the house and roam for several months now. Don’t worry, because in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new alternative emerged. This is called bubble tourism. Travel bubbles allow travelers to enter each other’s borders without the need for strict quarantines or at least observe only the minimum health requirements. It’s hard to forget or completely postpone our planned trips to stay safe. That is why the government identified places in the Philippines to address the needs of tourists.
On September 24, 2020, the Department of Tourism announced that Baguio City will reopen its doors to local tourists from October 1. The city has a mutual agreement with the neighboring region of Ilocos to start receiving tourists as a pioneering action in the field of tourism during this time of pandemic. Unfortunately, the date was pushed back after the city had a sudden spike of 43 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend. The sudden increase in new cases was caused by the increase in testing protocols implemented in the city. The city authorities proceeded with the launch of the program, but postponed the actual opening for the city to improve its online management system.
Six months into the quarantine period, Baguio City has already reopened its boundaries to local visitors. It was a partial reopening because the city was only opened to the neighboring provinces of Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Unión and Pangasinán. These places formed the first travel bubble in the country.
Safety precautions for the resumption of tourism
The Secretary of Tourism emphasized that caution is needed in the tourist opening of the city. It will be open only for the Ilocos Region. The goal is 200 tourists per day. The city government has initially opened only five tourist destinations. Keeping in mind the well-being of local residents and tourists, the City Tourism Office will provide updates to the public frequently, as needed.
The Secretary of Tourism said that, in addition to Baguio City, the government is analyzing the feasibility of reopening tourism in nearby provinces. As in other places in the country, the Department of Tourism will carry out a feasibility study before any tourist opening.
Meanwhile, the pilot study on the use of antigen tests for COVID-19 began on October 1. As stipulated in the IATF’s policies for the coronavirus pandemic, preliminary observations will cover inter-zonal travel in the Philippines. It will take into account cross-border dissimilarities in quarantine status and transfer level prevalence. The Secretary of Tourism said that the pilot studies will cover around 3,000 people. They will be tested for both antigen and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). These simultaneous tests will help to see the correlation and verify the accuracy of the method.
As numerous regions in the Philippines are slowly welcoming back visitors and tourists despite the ongoing prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Undersecretary of Health Dr. Vergeire urged local governments to be careful in reviving the tourism sector so that the spread of the disease does not increase. He was among the guest panelists during the 12th US Embassy Philippines Virtual Media Seminar. This event, which was entitled Reports of the media in disaster situations, was attended by some 40 professionals from the country’s media. When asked how to balance the economy and the health sectors in times of crisis, he reiterated that caution must be taken so as not to compromise the safety of people. In addition, he emphasized the balance between health and economics and the need to enforce different standards to prevent further transmission.
The provincial government of the province of Negros Oriental has started its tourism start-up program, with the towns of Pamplona, San José and the towns of Dauin as its preliminary areas in which rural tourism will be the main area for The tourism. The project has the cooperation of local government units, the Department of Tourism and other partners.
Other resource speakers during the virtual media seminar include Under Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr. of the Department of Science and Technology, Senior Meteorologist Chris Perez of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, and President and journalist by VERA Files, Ellen Tordesillas.
The Consulate of the United States of America in the Philippines holds a media seminar at least once a year in the country and this is the first time it has been held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Short-term loans for Filipinos on vacation
Sooner or later, there will be fewer restrictions for international travelers. For Filipinos who want to go home, rest and be with their family, but don’t have enough savings for vacations, they could opt for microfinancing. Robocash offers many large short term loan Options for Filipinos. There are only three requirements to acquire a loan from the website. The applicant must be a Filipino citizen between the ages of 21 and 70. Robocash will only require a valid government ID, an unblocked mobile phone number, and registration on the website. This automated website has benefited many people to acquire quick and easy loans because it is easy to access. Also, Robocash will not require numerous documents, unlike banks. Applicants can independently choose the amount and term of a loan. There are also many options for borrowers to conveniently receive money. Robocash operates without days off, even on holidays, so they accept requests 24/7. Robocash will only be waiting for requests anywhere and anytime at https://robocash.ph/.