DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 8 March) – Department of Tourism (DOT)-Davao regional director Tanya Rabat-Tan welcomes the lifting of all coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Davao City as this will help revitalize the tourism industry severely impacted by the pandemic.
Executive Order No. 11 issued by Mayor Sara Duterte on Monday allowed businesses, offices, and establishments to operate at pre-pandemic capacity.
In a statement, Tan said the agency looks forward to an increase in the number of tourists visiting the city and sees a return of the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE).
Before the pandemic, the city used to draw local and foreign visitors as it positioned itself as a primary destination for MICE activities.
“Allowing tourism enterprises to operate on pre-pandemic capacity will surely support the recovery of businesses and bring back employment that was lost during the lockdown,” Tan added.
She said that despite the easing of community restrictions, tourism establishments have been reminded to continue enforcing the minimum public health standards “not just for the safety of our visitors but also for our tourism workforce.”
Data released by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)-Davao last February 7 showed that tourist arrivals in the Davao Region in 2021 were reported at 1,306,732, decreasing by 3.9% from 1,360,168 in 2020.
Data showed the region received 1,062,000 visitors for the first quarter of 2020 just before lockdowns were imposed and flights cancelled.
In Executive Order No. 11, Mayor Sara Duterte lifted all COVID-19 restrictions in Davao City, citing the need “to swiftly reopen the city for economic recovery in view of the impending increase in prices.”
The order provides that home isolation is now allowed for positive cases, one-meter distancing requirement is also lifted, and use of Safe DQR for contact tracing is suspended.
The order, however, still requires the compliance with the minimum public health standards. It mandates wearing facemasks at all times, except when eating and drinking.
It said handwashing facilities with soap and water and alcohol or hand sanitizers must be available for everyone inside the business, office, or establishment.
It added that no lockdowns, including granular lockdowns, will be imposed, and lifted all existing lockdowns.
All other alternative work arrangements for local and national government offices are also lifted while public utility vehicles are allowed full carrying capacity based on pre-pandemic guide.
The city also allows all contact and non-contact sports to include training and tournaments/ competitions. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)