The Negros Oriental Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (NOIATF-EID) has approved and adopted the executive order of Dauin town for the reopening of its diving industry under the “tourism bubble” concept to revive the local tourism economy.
With only few cases of Covid-19, the municipality of Dauin aims to gradually revive the once thriving scuba diving industry in the province amid the modified general community quarantine with the firm commitment to ensure the health, security, enjoyment and wellbeing of all divers, diveshop employees, and residents, Mayor Galicano Truita said in the EO.
The Apo Island has been recognized as one of the best dive sites in the world.
The EO requires all dive tourism-oriented establishments operating in Dauin to intensify their health and safety protocols, a government press release said.
In a proposal, Truita pushed for the compliance of guidelines of the Department of Health and the Department of Tourism before the reopening of dive sites.
In a joint PIATF and consultative meeting earlier with local government units, DOT-7 Regional Director Shalimar Tamano agreed to the proposal and presented the standard travel protocols that the LGUs can adopt.
These include the Covid-19 test-before-travel or test-upon-arrival options, the validity of the required Covid test, confirmed hotel reservation with a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment, confirmed round-trip plane tickets, and tour itinerary with a DOT-accredited tour operator.
These mitigating measures on strictly enforcing minimum public health and safety standards would ensure the protection of tourists and locals from any possible Covid transmission.
“Specifically, the tourist should have a 72-hour PCR negative test result, acceptance letter from Dauin, and email the itinerary to the LGU, so that it is like a contract where there is an itinerary to be submitted and approved before the travel, and the tourist cannot go outside of Dauin,” Tamano said.
He added that once the tourists arrive at the airport or seaport, there will be a van from the hotel/resort that is accredited by the DOT to pick them up and bring them directly to the resort. Dauin is also advised to have a list of tourism sites where strict protocols must be followed and law enforcers are present to ensure that the tourists are only confined to the areas stated in their approved itinerary.*