Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat advises tourism stakeholders, particularly hotel and resort entrepreneurs to secure a DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate before going back to business under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
“All accommodation establishments that intend to commence commercial operations in Community Quarantine Zones, whether for the accommodation of guests or operations of in-house food facilities for take–out or delivery, shall secure a DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate prior to any operations,” stressed the Tourism Chief quoting Section 3 of the Administrative Order 2020-002 otherwise known as the Guidelines on the Operations of Hotels and other Accommodation Establishments under a Community Quarantine.
Puyat reminds businesses that commencement of operations without DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate will not be allowed to open and may subject the property to the relevant penalties under applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
Puyat explains that application for such certification is free. DOT–accredited hotels and other AEs need only to submit to the DOT Regional Office their Letter of Intent to Operate, while non-DOT-accredited hotels and AEs will need to apply for accreditation to ensure compliance of basic requirements.
Meanwhile, in a joint statement, Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) President Jose Clemente III sees “optimism on the continuing commitment of AEs to support a safe tourist experience and ensure healthy travel”.
Initially focusing on domestic tourism, the DOT places primary importance on the safety and health of tourists and tourism workers. Thus, All AEs that are accredited and authorized by the DOT, will be required to comply with the DOT Health and Safety Guidelines for Accommodation Establishments Under the New Normal based on protocols issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Philippine Department of Health (DOH).
Secretary Puyat reiterates that tourism stakeholders must closely coordinate with their respective local government units in the assessment of the actual readiness of their areas to support resumption of tourism activities.
Moreover, the DOT enjoins tourism stakeholders, particularly entrepreneurs, to defer to the strict guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in connection with the reopening of businesses in the transition from one community quarantine level to another.