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2月11日のまにら新聞から

At least 200 tourists, including Japanese, arrive as int'l travelers allowed to enter

[ 416 words|2022.2.11|英字 (English) ]

At least 200 tourists, some from Japan, arrived in the country as the government allowed the entry of international travelers starting Thursday.

"I was surprised, 222 tourists today. The bulk coming from the US, second comes from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia. So they really waited for February 10, 2022 just to arrive here," Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said during the ''Laging Handa'' virtual public briefing on Thursday.

"We in DOT (Department of Tourism) always remind to follow the minimum health and safety protocols. It doesn't mean that if you are vaccinated or negative in the RT-PCR pre-pandemic is allowed,. we should continue to be careful, please wear your mask," she said.

In the same interview, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac mentioned that the arrival cap was raised to 5,000 starting last Friday.

"It was raised last week, as far as I know there was a ‘notice-to-airmen’ from CAAP last week. It was raised from 3,000 to 5,000 Friday last week. So, we now feel the increase because the 5,000 arrivals are not all OFW (overseas Filipino workers)," he said.

"Three thousand of the five thousand were OFWs, and of the three thousand, ten percent of them are not fully vaccinated. So, ten percent of 3,000 is what we usually count for mandatory hotel quarantine. But all the rest under IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) resolution were transported to their home LGUs," he added.

Cacdac said more OFWs are expected to return to the country in the coming days.

"We expect that in the coming days, especially in the opening of transport, we expect that the number of arriving OFW will further increase. Because once the OFW know that we eased the quarantine protocols here, that there will be no facility-based quarantine. Our prediction is more OFWs will return home for festivals and graduation of their children," he said.

Cacdac said as of the present there were 1,582 OFWs within the 51 hotels quarantine facilities

"That is a drastic reduction from 7,000, two weeks ago and now down to 1,582. During the surge of Omicron and there were also delayed trips due to Typhoon ''Odette'', it reached to almost 14,000, that was about a month ago last December going to January. But now, it’s down to 1,582," he said.

"On average, 10 percent of those who arrive stayed in the hotel, so it will depend on the entry of OFWs. So the 10 percent unvaccinated that return home it depend on the entry of the OFWs," he added. Robina Asido/DMS