Police authorities have tightened road border security and health safety protocols in El Nido after observing an increasing influx of local tourists who came to celebrate the New Year in the municipality.
P/Lt. Allan delos Santos, chief of the El Nido municipal police station said although their checkpoint was established earlier on, they have further stepped it up to ensure that visitors are strictly following minimum health standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Araw-araw naming ginagawa ito sa lahat ng mga kalsada dito. Ang checkpoint talaga namin is for anti criminality. Pero ngayon kasi medyo may mga turista na tayo, so dapat masunod pa din ang minimum health standard. Lahat ng sasakyan, tricycle, van, mga kotse wala tayong pinalalampas. Mga tao na naglalakad, dapat lahat naka-face mask,” Delos Santos said.
As of December 25, the Coast Guard Station (CGS) in El Nido has already recorded 21 motorized boats and eight speedboats that sought permits for 101 local tourists who wanted to go island hopping. From private resorts, 17 boats have sought permits for 129 local tourists.
“Ang total ng tourists na nag-island hopping from sa town ay 101 passengers, mayroong 21 na motor bancas and 8 speedboats. Lahat yon galing lang sa bayan,” Lt. April Bernal of the CGS in El Nido said.
“Yong sa mga private resort, yon yong usually galing Manila via Airswift. Mayroong 129 na passengers in 17 motorboats,” she added.
Bernal said since El Nido reopened in October, December 25 was the day there were more than a handful of local and domestic tourists.
She said they too have tightened their security, as well as the implementation of health safety protocols, to ensure that the coronavirus disease will not spread.
This is because from 50 percent occupancy of motorized boats ferrying tourists, the capacity had been increased to 90 percent.
“Dati 50% lang dapat ang sakay ng bawat bangka, pero ngayon may bago ng ibinabang memorandum ang Marina na puwede na ang 90%. Yun nga lang, pina-priority talagang tingnan ay yung distance na .3 meters bawat passenger,” she said.