With an estimated P3.3 billion tourism loss due to COVID lockdowns as of November 30, the island town of Coron reopened for domestic tourists starting December 1 to revive its income drawer that has suffered from the pandemic.
Kim Ablaña, Coron municipal tourism officer, on Friday said that the local government ensured guidelines and protocols for the safety of the locals and the tourists, which had been a caution since the island municipality experienced a surge of COVID-19 cases in October.
“Nag-handa kami sa pamamagitan ng mga compliances sa Department of Tourism (DOT) para sa mga accommodation estbalishments. Sa lahat ng establishments at tourist destinations ay pinag-comply namin sila ng COVID-19 operational management plan, series of consultation meetings sa mga stakeholders kung payag ba sila sa pagbubukas at consulted them with the guidelines and protocols and then pina-approve sa Municipal at Regional IATF,” Ablaña told Palawan News.
Since December 1, three flights have arrived in Coron so far as it “gradually” accepted travelers since the Palawan provincial government eased the travel restrictions for tourists.
“Dahil dito maaring hindi pa karamihan ang dadating at medyo may konting pag angat sa presyo gawa ng mga new guidelines sa mga carrying capacity kung noon marami ang nagshe-share ng expenses ngayon 50% na lang or ‘yong iba baka exclusive pa at mga requirements like swab tests,” Ablaña added.
Sofia antigen test kits for detecting COVID-19 antibodies were acquired by the municipal government on October 7. With at least a 96.7 percent sensitivity rate of infection detection, local health officials strengthened their efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, which has seen a significant increase in its active cases in early August.
“Ang antigen test ay may 96.7 % sensitivity rate at malaking tulong para sa ating mga frontliners na maagang matukoy ang mga taong may COVID-19, nang sa ganun ay agarang maisagawa ang isolation upang hindi na makapanghawa pa, hanggang sa gumaling,” an earlier statement from Coron information office read.
Coron is virtually COVID-19 free as of Friday, based on the daily bulletin from the Provincial Department of Health Office (PDOHO).