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This Week in Palawan (October 26 to November 1, 2020)

Coron, Palawan reopens to local tourists!

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | October 26, 2020
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Palawan, Lockdown news, Puerto Princesa, Coron, COVID-19, Health News, El Nido, Lockdown

Palawan is slowly reopening tourism to locals. After reopening El Nido, the local tourism office announced that they are accepting domestic tourists for Coron starting October 26. Because of the reopening, the Department of Tourism released guidelines for recreational diving in Palawan. Besides tourism, another focus of the local government is to provide accessible and affordable healthcare to residents by launching a new hospital in Quezon. Read on for the complete details.

Lockdown News

Puerto Princesa changes curfew hours

The city government of Puerto Princesa City changed the curfew last October 21. The new curfew in the entire city will be from 12:00 AM to 5:00 AM. However, the start of the curfew will remain at 10:00 PM for minors [1].

Travel News

Coron now open to tourists

Coron reopened its tourism to town residents starting October 26. The reopening was announced by Coron’s tourism office as part of the area’s gradual resumption of tourism to the rest of the country [2]. By November 16, tourists from Calamian Islands group (Busuanga, Linapacan, and Culion) will be allowed to visit. For other visitors from outside Palawan, the tentative date for tourism reopening will be on December 1.

Coron Mayor Mario T. Reyes Jr said that strict protocols will be in effect for the tourism opening. He said that they are currently seeking the approval of the regional IATF for the planned reopening on December 1. Once the approval is given, the local government will prepare the airports and business establishments. Several local businesses are already applying for the Certificate of Authority to Operate (CATO) and other permits and requirements in preparation.

DOT released guidelines for recreational diving under new normal

A new guideline for recreational diving is released by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as tourist spots such as Coron and El Nido reopened for tourism [3]. The Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD) also released a memo indicating guidelines for diving operations. The guidelines cover protocols for reservation, booking, check-in, employee management, reception, and guest handling. In addition, the they also focus on facility-related policies such as dive center operations, emergency response and medical clearances; dive courses or training; group dive trips, and boat diving.

The guidelines require tourists to bring their own scuba gear and use their own defog solution for their masks. Tourists are also advised to avoid spitting on the masks to avoid spreading of the virus through saliva. Divers are also reminded to practice proper physical distancing and to sanitize their hands frequently throughout the day. Wearing of masks is also required when tourists and divers are on land and dive boats. Meanwhile, diving classes that focus on basic parts are encouraged to shift to e-learning methods. Any establishment or individual who will be caught violating the guidelines will receive appropriate penalties and fines that may include the revocation of their PCSSD accreditation.

Banks and Remittances News

BDO launches Cash Agad

Residents can now use BDO’s Cash Agad system that can provide banking services to residents who could not access banks and ATMs due to distant locations and limited public transportation. Cash Agad will be accessible through any of BDO’s Cash Agad partners, which include groceries, pawnshops, hardware stores, and general stores. Residents can withdraw a maximum of PhP10,000 daily; they can also inquire about their existing balance.

In order to withdraw, customers must present their ATM card to the cashier then indicate the amount to withdraw. The cashier will ask the customers to type their PIN on a POS terminal and the cash will be given along with a receipt. A convenience fee will be deducted to the customer’s ATM card per Cash Agad transaction. Those who live in the city will be charged PhP15 to PhP30 per transaction; those who live outside the city will have to pay PhP30 to PhP50 per transaction. Balance inquiry will be free of charge [4].

Health News

Quezon Medicare Hospital now open

The new Quezon Medicare Hospital is now open to the public. The hospital was inaugurated last October 20 by Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez, Quezon Mayor Joselito Ayala, Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Dr. Maria Francia Laxamana, and DOH MIMAROPA Regional Director Dr. Maria Baquilod.

Quezon Medicare Hospital was built to offer free medicines and checkups to residents in Quezon, according to Gov. Alvarez. The 50-bed hospital has a laboratory room, isolation building, dietary building, doctors quarter, powerhouse building, mortuary, material recovery facility (MRF), and private rooms [5].

Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Boracay and Iloilo.

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About Denisse Shawntel Tan
Denisse Tan is currently a work in progress: she’s an aspiring writer, artist, and fashion designer! She’s trying to figure out how to manage her time in achieving all of her goals while also taking in life as humanly possible. Aside from art, she’s a big fan of the color pink, disco music, Bratz dolls, and Genshin Impact. By age 35, she plans to travel to New York City 🗽.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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