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Streamlining LGU travel policies to boost domestic tourism, says DOT

The Department of Tourism is supporting the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s plan to streamline travel requirements, protocols, and procedures by local government units as this will encourage more Filipinos to go to tourist places.

During state-run PTV’s Laging Handa briefing on Friday, Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon said that its study on “Evolving Landscape on Domestic Travel” found that 81% of more than 7,000 respondents cited inconveniences arising from varying LGU requirements in various tourist destinations.

Respondents not only included travelers but also hotels, resorts, travel agencies, tour operators, and airlines, the DOT official noted.

“Natutuwa kami nung isang araw pinahayag na ng DILG na they will support the efforts to simplify the requirements in moving around the destinations,” Bengzon said.

“Sa tingin namin malaki ang maitutulong nito sa pag-engganyo ng ating mga kababayan na umikot sa mga destination na bukas,” he added.

According to him, the DOT supports the DILG’s proposal to streamline protocols and requirements for leisure travel.

“‘Pag inaprubahan ito at naging standard ang protocols natin talagang dadami ang mga Pilipino na iikot,” Bengzon pointed out.

Likewise, he emphasized the importance of boosting domestic tourism in helping the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“‘Yung revenue natin sa domestic tourism ay mahigit P3 trillion.... Kaya may kumpiyansa kami na talagang makakatulong sa pag-accelerate ng recovery sa ating industriya,” Bengzon said, adding that “leisure or travel is one way of keep people’s sanity.”

The DOT is also subsidizing 50% of RT-PCR testing for travelers who will have their tests done by Philippine General Hospital or Philippine Children’s Medical Center.

Bengzon said 68% of survey respondents raised the issue of high cost of COVID-19 testing.

He said that so far 12,000 travelers have availed of the subsidized testing at the PGH and around 11,000 to 12,000 have availed subsidized testing at the PCMC.  —LBG, GMA News