WITH the 92.3 percent vaccination rate in the Philippines or 72 million fully-vaccinated Filipinos as of August 14, 2022, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reiterated its assurance that it is safe to travel and visit the country.
The DOT stressed health and safety protocols continue to be actively in place in tourism destinations in the Philippines to ensure the safety of travelers and visitors even as the Philippines landed in the “high travel risk” list of the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The global pandemic continues to expose the tourism industry to challenges, but our travelers can be rest assured that the Philippine government continues to ensure that minimum public health and safety standards are in place, coupled with the precautionary measures observed by our partners from the private and public sectors. Therefore, our guests can safely enjoy any of our 7,641 islands even in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco.
“We are confident of the measures and guidelines that we have instituted to strike a balance between safety and travel in the new normal,” she added.
The Department noted that more than half of the roughly 235 places monitored by the CDC have been placed under level 3.
Earlier, the Department of Health (DOH) emphasized the different metrics employed by the Philippines and the US in COVID-19 classification. DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire likewise stressed that “Currently, the Philippines is giving more weight to the healthcare utilization rate rather than the number of new cases.”
Based on the DOH bulletin, 28 percent or 719 out of 2,571 ICU beds were used while 30.9 percent or about 6,781 out of 21,968 non-ICU beds across the country is currently utilized.
There is also a stark difference between the COVID-19 positivity rate of The Philippines which is now averaging at 4,001 daily compared to that of US which recorded 13,609 new cases in the last 24 hours (August 16, 7:20PM Philippine time) according to the World Health Global Organization (WHO) website.
“What we learned from the advent of COVID-19 is that we cannot continue to allow the fear of it to negatively shape our lives and our travel plans. So much has been lost to this pandemic. We need to revise our perspective and learn how to live with this virus in a manner that is reasonable, rational, as well as responsible of health protocols so, not only lives, but livelihoods of people dependent on tourism may be saved in the process,” explained Frasco.