Municipal Tourism Office of San Vicente.

SAN VICENTE, Palawan — Some 103 foreign and 7 domestic tourists remain stranded in this town, receiving assistance from the municipal government through its tourism office.

Municipal tourism officer Lucy Panagsagan said they continue to assist them by providing passes for their needs during the extended quarantine and helping them avail of 50 percent discount from the accommodations where they are staying until they decide to avail of the mercy flights out of the province being organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Panagsagan said the majority of the foreign tourists are Europeans, while the domestic travelers are mostly from Luzon.

She said if there will be mercy flights again and the foreign tourists decide to avail, they will be assisted by the municipal government to secure travel passes, medical certificates, and transfer to the airport.

Municipal tourism staff Madelyn Sacmon in Barangay Port Barton said some foreign tourists have wanted to do move around despite the ECQ, but their office remained firm in the implementation of the physical distancing and stay-at-home measures against the deadly virus.

“Yong iba sumusunod, yong iba nagtra-try pa rin gawin ang gusto nila pero hindi sila umobra. Yon nga masyadong demanding na rin ang iba dahil sa matagal na ang ECQ, bored na din,” she said.

Meanwhile, Port Barton Resort Owners Tourism Association, Inc. (PBROTAI) president Thoreen Halvorsen is hopeful that people will continue to travel after the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

Halvorsen said this as she also expressed appreciation of the imposition of the Luzon-wide ECQ to take care of people’s health against the pandemic disease.

“ECQ for me is a good thing because, on top of everything, we still prioritize the health and welfare of our families. It’s a pandemic, we can’t really do anything except to follow our government. We don’t know when things will get back to normal, but when it does, that next question would be, will our normal be the same?” she said.

“This experience will serve as a lesson to pause, reflect on what’s important and I realize it’s not just the business or wealth. I believe in my heart and with the guidance of God, we will recover and be better. Let’s use this experience to be prepared in every situation, good or bad. Let’s save up, be healthy and always show kindness,” she added.

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is the correspondent of Palawan News in San Vicente, Palawan. He also covers politics, government policies, tourism, health and sports. His has interest in travelling and exploring different places and food.