In light of the first confirmed case of novel coronavirus (nCoV) in the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT) urged the public, locals and foreign tourists alike, to take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of contracting the virus.
In a statement, the DOT said it is confident that the heightened interventions performed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and all concerned agencies operating in international gateways, such as the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), will impede the spread of the nCoV in the country.
The DOT said it will continue to coordinate with tourism stakeholders and LGUs nationwide and underscore the value of taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the nCoV.
To ensure the safety and security of travelers and citizens, the DOT also called on the travel trade partners, local health, police and security establishments, and other stakeholders to help provide proper guidance and assistance, when needed.
Stakeholders will be advised of all protocols shared by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases led by the DOH especially in handling cases involving workforce and guests in our tourism enterprises.
“While the DOT is mandated to encourage, promote, and develop tourism as a major socio-economic activity, at this time our first priority is ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of all. We strongly urge the public to stay informed and abide by the suggested guidelines issued by our health department to minimize risk and help stem the spread of the coronavirus. For your safety, we ask for your full cooperation and understanding at this time,” DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.