PRE-PANDEMIC DAYS: Tourists on two paddle boats exit the subterranean river in Barangay Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa City. (PN Photo)

Reopening tourism in Puerto Princesa to outsiders is back on the table, with a goal date of December this year, a city tourism official confirmed Wednesday.

It’s where the city government is headed, according to Demetrio Alvior, Jr., assistant city tourism officer, with consultations for the Incident Management Team (IMT) to set out suitable guidelines to be followed by stakeholders and relevant agencies.

“’Yon na rin ang direksyon ng city government. That is why nagme-meeting kami ngayon (October 27) sa city government kung ano ang mga strategy ang gagawin,” Alvior said in a phone interview.

There are also plans for a big reopening celebration in Balayong Park, according to Alvior, and strict health precautions will be in place.

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“Ito na rin ang magiging commissioning ng interactive water park. Maraming events. At mayroon ding grand fireworks display, with Dragon Fireworks, na nag-compete sa Germany at nag-champion. ‘Yon ang general idea,” he said.

“Kino-konsulta pa ang City Health Office (CHO) at ang IMT kung ano ang mga protocol na gagawin para ma-ensure ang safety ng mga mamamayan,” he added.

Prior to the meeting, Alvior said he met with city mayor Lucilo Bayron and Arthur Cayanan, a tourist industry official. Cayanan, who is presently the operations manager of Hotel Centro, and Daluyon Beach Resort general manager Bruce Tan wrote to Bayron early last week, seeking a closed-door meeting with the mayor to discuss the tourist reopening.

“It was a very productive meeting. Actually, si mayor mismo ay nag-expect nito. Siya na muna ang nagsalita kung ano ang direksyon niya at ng city towards re-opening the economy. Napakaganda ng mga plans niya, pero we are not yet the position to elaborate until ma-finalize ‘yong meeting niya with the IMT,” Cayanan told Palawan News.

The City Tourism Department (CTD) previously aimed to accept visitors from outside Palawan in mid-March, but the plan was postponed due to a surge of cases in Metro Manila.

The travel bubble plan, similar to those being used in El Nido, Coron, Busuanga, and San Vicente, was also suspended in early August because of ongoing surges in the National Capital Region.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.