Sunlight Eco Tourism Island Resort staff pose next to delivered COVID-19 vaccines. // Photo courtesy of Mia Mancio

The management of Sunlight Eco Tourism Island Resort in Culion maintained that it is not doing anything illegal by accepting tourists from NCR plus while strict inbound travel measures are in place in the Calamian group of islands.

They added that they only accept tourists who have been vaccinated and have secured negative RT-PCR results. 

According to the resort’s general manager Mia Mancio, the resort has been cleared to operate under a point-to-point (P2P) system by all three towns – Coron, Busuanga, Culion. Under this system, guests have minimal interaction with town locals. 

“We have secured proper permits and coordination with all three towns that the tourists will pass through even during the start of the pandemic, we already secured the necessary documents for the P2P system we are using with the DOT (Department of Tourism) and the CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines),” she said in a phone interview on Friday.

Mancio assured that under this system, the safety of resort staff is also assured. She added that operating the resort has been crucial in keeping the local economy alive. They have also been active in assisting the town local government unit by providing logistical support of bringing COVID-19 vaccines to the town. 

“We are hurt because we are helping bring back people’s trust in the destination. As much as possible, we do our very best to ensure that our guests are safe because we also don’t want to have [COVID] transmission here,” Mancio said when asked to respond to some claims that they were operating illegally. 

The resort, which also has branches in Coron and Puerto Princesa City, was the subject of social media ire by some Calamian residents. Several posts claimed that accepting tourists amidst a local surge of COVID-19 cases in the town was endangering locals. Mancio explained that the Coron branch is closed while their city branch is being used as a quarantine facility.

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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.