By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has activated its regional hotlines to mount sweeper flights for “qualified stranded local tourists” from other regions to the National Capital Region.
This developed as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases authorized the DOT to undertake measures to charter and fund sweeper flights for domestic travelers affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.
“This is a positive development that will complement our on-ongoing efforts in the Department to assist qualified stranded local tourists, which include the provision of one-time financial assistance,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.
A stranded local tourist may be eligible for the assistance if registered with the DOT Regional Office and has a confirmed return land, air, or sea ticket to their home province, city, or municipality but was canceled due to the implementation of the community quarantine.
As of April 28, the department’s regional offices nationwide have listed about 2,392 remaining domestic tourists.
The DOT, for its part, assured the public it would “do everything within its mandate” to bring stranded domestic tourists as it works on mounting sweeper flights. The DOT will announce the dates of the departure schedules of these sweeper flights.
Meanwhile, it encouraged those hoping to secure a seat to communicate with the nearest DOT regional office.
The DOT has previously coordinated sweeper flights and several modes of transportation for about 22,264 stranded foreign tourists. (PNA)