Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Sunday said the Department of Tourism has slowly reopened destinations for domestic travel with health and safety protocols in place as countries celebrate World Tourism Day.

Berna Romulo-Puyat sees return of jobs in provinces with ‘gradual revival’ of tourism

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Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Sunday said the Department of Tourism has slowly reopened destinations for domestic travel with health and safety protocols in place as countries celebrate World Tourism Day.

“This year’s theme, ‘Tourism and Rural Development’, is particularly relevant to our country as many of our rural areas depend on tourism but have been adversely affected by the pandemic,” Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.

She said the “gradual revival of the industry will bring back jobs and livelihoods to the rural areas, where many tourism products — beach, diving, ecotourism, arts and culture, and farm sites — are found”.

Earlier, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said tourism is a vehicle for integration, empowerment, and income generation for rural communities.

Guterres recognized the importance of tourism to a country’s development.

Romulo-Puyat said the Philippine tourism industry has been promoting the inclusive development of the countryside by supporting farmers, indigenous peoples, women, and other marginalized groups through sustainable programs.

“We have been given this time of tourism closure to transform the crisis into an opportunity; a chance to rebuild tourism on the foundation of safety, sustainability, inclusiveness, and resiliency. Let us remain steadfast in our commitment to pursue equitable and responsible growth as the legacy of our industry,” she added. (PNA)

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Duterte explains reason for refusing to wear face mask: ‘Hindi ako holdaper’

By Prince Golez

“Hindi ako holdaper.”

President Rodrigo Duterte had this to say to critics who faulted him for rarely wearing a face mask.

“I’ve been criticized. Tama kayo na ito si Duterte nagsasalita, hindi naman sinusunod, tama kayo, na hindi naman nagma-mask, tama kayo,” Duterte said in his televised speech Wednesday.

Speaking with a mask on can be uncomfortable, according to the Chief Executive.

“Eh hindi ako holdaper na sanay magsalita nitong naka (face mask) kaya tinatanggal ko.

“I run the risk of baka ako madali rin, may vice president man, siya na ang susunod. Wala tayong magawa,” he furthered.

Duterte orders governors, mayors to distribute free face masks

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday directed local chief executives to distribute free face masks among the poor to protect them against the coronavirus disease.

“I leave it to the governor, mayor, barangay captain. Yung mga tao na walang-wala talaga, hindi makabili (ng face mask). Ang iba nga walang pagkain, hindi makabili ng ulam,” Duterte said in his weekly public address.

The Chief Executive said he requires the provincial and local governments to give out free masks to their constituents.

“Kung ayaw niyong gawin niyan ako ang magdala sa lugar ninyo. I will go to the City Hall at ibigay ko yung (face masks).

“Ayaw mo magbili, ako ang magdeliver. Ibigay mo sa mga tao. Ayaw mo gumastos, ako ang gagstos. I hope that does not really happen,” he also said.

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