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This Week in Palawan (May 31 to June 6, 2021)

Know what’s happening in Palawan this week!

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | May 31, 2021
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Palawan, COVID-19, tourism, tourist spot, travel restrictions, quarantine status, health articles, health news, travel guidelines, travel news, quarantine news, travel updates

As COVID-19 cases in Palawan continue to increase, measures are implemented to slow the spread of the virus. In Puerto Princesa City, the local government unit (LGU) is waiting for the national Inter-Agency Task Force’s (NIATF) decision regarding the quarantine status in the area. Recovery plans are also being prioritized when it comes to tourism and shopping.

Quarantine News: Puerto Princesa City LGU waits for the decision of the NIATF for the quarantine status.

The Puerto Princesa City LGU is waiting for the NIATF’s decision to place the city under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) after the LGU submitted its recommendation. Due to the rise in cases in the area, IATF officials have recommended a stricter lockdown. In case MECQ is implemented, families will be given financial assistance according to Incident Management Team (IMT) commander Dr. Dean Palanca. However, they will also ask for the national government’s help in financial aid since it will require a bigger budget for a two-week lockdown [1].

Travel News

Palawan is among the priority in the tourism recovery program.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) unveils an inter-regional tourism circuit that includes Palawan among the priority areas that will benefit from the government’s efforts to recover the tourism industry [2]. The program will focus on boosting products from included areas and tourist spots. So far, DOT planned to have diving and marine sites in the tourism circuit—many of which can also be found in Palawan.

The travel circuit aims to develop new tourism experiences under the new normal. Along with Palawan, other provinces and areas included in the program are MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan), some parts of CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), and the Bicol region due to the low or no cases of COVID-19.

Cuyo opens only to limited inbound travelers.

Starting last May 20, the municipality of Cuyo reopened to only a limited number of travelers inbound to the area depending on Cuyo LGU’s COVID-19 testing capacity [3].

In Cuyo’s latest advisory, travelers are required to secure the following: barangay endorsement, LGU acceptance, and antigen testing on their 6th or 7th day of quarantine. Those coming from Palawan or Iloilo must submit negative antigen results that should not be more than 24 hours before travel.

As for tourists and passengers from Metro Manila, they must secure a Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) clearance from their respective area of residence. Meanwhile, those coming from other areas must submit negative antigen results taken not more than 72 hours before the travel date.

A complete Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) form, BHERT clearance, and acceptance letter from the destination’s barangay are needed for outbound travelers.

Shopping News: The City Council has submitted a proposal to institutionalize sanitizers in Puerto Princesa business establishments.

Ordinance-makers in Puerto Princesa City Council drafted a new ordinance that proposes to institutionalize the provision of hand sanitizers in business establishments in the city. The resolution or Sanggunian Draft Ordinance (SDO) No. 223-2021 indicates the removal of glove usage in supermarkets since it’s considered a one-sided measure that only protects the cashiers. Instead of using gloves, hand sanitizers and alcohols are seen as better solutions. Majority Floor Leader Victor Oliveros—the one who proposed the measure, reiterates that sanitation tools and materials must be accessible to the public at all times as per DOH's minimum health standard guidelines [4].

Health News: Positive antigen results now count as confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The Puerto Princesa City Incident Management Team (IMT) announced they now consider positive antigen test results confirmed COVID-19 cases. The decision was derived from the NIATF’s order that includes positive antigen results as part of the tracking. Through this, any individual who will get positive antigen results does not need to avail of RT-PCR testing since GeneXpert kits can test others. Antigen will be concentrated on close contacts and asymptomatic individuals. Before two antigen tests were required to confirm cases, an individual will now be considered infected if he or she is positive on the first result.

Because of this, cases of COVID-19 in Palawan might increase in the following weeks since they now include antigen test results [5].

All details and information in this article are true and accurate as of the publication date. While we are making our utmost effort to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the condition surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable, and the situation develops rapidly. Hence, some information and recommendations may have changed since this article was published. For the latest advice, visit DOH and your LGU's official websites.

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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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