Travel authority needed for Tagaytay trips — Eleazar

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 14) — Non-Cavite residents are prohibited from going to Tagaytay without travel authority, Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield Commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said on Monday.

While it is true na ‘yung Tagaytay, dineclare ng LGU nila na hindi na kailangan ‘yung travel pass pagpasok du’n, ‘yun po ‘yung manggagaling ng Cavite,” he clarified in the Laging Handa public briefing.

[Translation: While it is true that the local government of Tagaytay declared that travel passes are no longer needed in the area, such only applies to those coming from Cavite.]

Dapat po may reason ka ng pagpunta. [….] Dapat kumuha ka pa rin ng travel authority,” he added.

[Translation: You should have a reason for your travel. [….] You must secure a travel authority.]

Eleazar reiterated that only workers and authorized persons outside residence (APOR) are allowed to travel outside Metro Manila.

Since Tagaytay reopened its doors to local tourists, travelers have been flocking to the renowned holiday destination. Heavy traffic was experienced in the area due to the increase in motorists and private vehicles over the past week.

IATF to release guidelines on ’staycations’

The JTF COVID-19 Shield Commander said the Inter-Agency Task Force, through the Department of Tourism, will be releasing guidelines on “staycations” in areas under general community quarantine.

He stressed that only those who live in the same city, province, or area are allowed to book staycations in hotels.

Kung ‘yung mga hotel na ‘yan, eh, sa Metro Manila, taga-Metro Manila ka… Sa probinsya, taga-du’n ka sa probinsya,” Eleazar emphasized.

[Translation: If those hotels are located in Metro Manila, then you should be from Metro Manila… If those are in the province, you should be from such province.]

As of now, there are no restrictions for travel within Metro Manila and other highly urbanized areas, he said.

In a separate briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said hotels in GCQ areas are allowed to offer "basic accommodation services" to guests through an in-house staff.

"Talaga pong unti-unti nating binubuksan ang ating ekonomiya," Roque said. "Ito pong pinaplano ng DOT ay alinsunod naman sa pagbubukas ng sektor ng turismo." 

[Translation: We are really slowly opening up our economy. The plan of the DOT is in line with the reopening of the tourism sector.]

Roque noted that this "marks the beginning of the reopening of the tourism industry in Metro Manila."

RELATED: Tourism industry loses ₱190-B in revenue from March to July 2020

Meanwhile, the presidential spokesman clarified that other services offered by hotels, such as restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, and spas will follow the guidelines earlier set by the IATF as to what services can be offered and how many customers can be accommodated at a time.

More firms back in business would also boost public funds by way of tax payments, according to Roque.

"Let's give it a chance," he said. "Pwede naman pong pag-ingatan ang buhay para makapaghanapbuhay ang lahat. [We can protect lives while allowing jobs to return]."

With the restart of local tourism, the IATF moved to allow “staycations” in areas under less stricter quarantine measures or GCQ on September 11.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte's economic team asked the IATF to allow more industries to reopen for business and increase the allowed capacity for mass transit, so that more people can return to work.