Mayor Edna Gacot-Lim of El Nido during the inauguration of the Port of San Fernando and two others seaports in Palawan on March 19, 2021. | DOTr photo from ASec. Goddess Libiran's FB page

The Department of Tourism (DOT) will donate a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) machine to El Nido as it starts accepting domestic tourists to revive its economy.

Mayor Edna Gacot-Lim told reporters Friday (March 19) in Barangay San Fernando, El Nido after the inauguration of the new port there that Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has promised to give them a RT PCR so they could accept domestic travelers aside from those going to the Lio Tourism Estate and other Ayala resorts.

“Prepared na kami. Napag-aralan na namin na after na ma-lift itong [anti-]COVID controls, kailangan nandoon pa rin ang pag-iingat. Mayroon na kaming nagawang plano para dyan na sabi nga maiwasan na may mahawa kapag dagsain na kami ng turista,” Lim said.

Lim said they will only start accepting more domestic tourists once they have set up their RT PCR laboratory.

She said they are now looking for an area in the new town hospital where the RT PCR can be set up. However, this has to be inspected and agreed upon by municipal health authorities.

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“Naghahanap na kami ng area kasi anytime magbibigay si Sec. Puyat ng RT PCR machine. Mayroon na rin kaming nakikita na siguro papasyalan at titingnan kung pupuwede, at pagme-meetingan kung pupuwede… meron daw sa hospital natin na may area na malaki,” Lim said.

Lim added that the health guidelines they are currently implementing are patterned after the national government’s.

She said before the Port of San Fernando operates via RORO to bring tourists from other points in the country, she said the RT PCR must be set up first to ensure “everyone’s safety” from COVID-19.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.