The Joint Task Force COVID Shield sees the reopening of Tagaytay City to tourists as a possible blueprint for other local government units (LGUs) that plan to open their borders for tourism as part of the effort to reboot the local economy amid the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Police Lt. Gen. Guilermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said he met Tagaytay City Mayor Agnes Tolentino Saturday and discussed plans and measures to manage and control the entry and the movement of tourists to ensure that both the local residents and visitors will remain protected from the coronavirus infection.
“Since Tagaytay City is the first local government unit which opened its borders to tourists across the country, Mayor Agnes Tolentino and I both agreed to put things in order to ensure that the local police and the city government will not be overwhelmed by the possible influx of a lot of tourists in the coming days,” said Eleazar.
“The JTF COVID Shield and the Office of Mayor Tolentino are now working together to turn Tagaytay City as a pilot or model area for all the LGUs that are planning to also open their borders in order to boost local tourism,” he added.
Eleazar said the reopening of Tagaytay City means that people from any part of the country can now visit the area without a travel authority, except for those who live in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) or higher community quarantine status.
He has earlier emphasized that only those coming from areas under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) or no community quarantine status are allowed to enter the Tagaytay City without the need for a travel authority.
“Local tourists who would come from areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), and Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) are still required to secure a travel authority,” said Eleazar.
Currently, Metro Manila, Batangas, Bulacan, and Tacloban City are under the GCQ. Iligan City, Bacolod City, and Lanao del Sur, on the other hand, are under MECQ.
This means that Metro Manila residents who are usually the visitors of Tagaytay City need to secure a travel authority wherein the major requirement is a medical clearance certificate from City Health Office and prior coordination between the local police where they live and the local police of Tagaytay City for their travel.
Eleazar and Tolentino inspected various areas in Tagaytay City which are considered as favorite hangout places of tourists before the coronavirus pandemic.
Tolentino welcomed the visit of Eleazar and said the presence of the JTF COVID Shield commander and PNP-HPG Director Police Brig. Gen. Eliseo Cruz is proof that Tagaytay City is all set for the arrival of tourists.
“We assure the national government through the NTF on COVID-19 that we will be in constant coordination with the JTF COVID Shield to make sure that everything will always be in place in ensuring the proper balance between the need to revive our economy and the health safety of both our visitors and the people of Tagaytay City,” said Tolentino.
“Let this serve as a strong message not only to the people to Tagaytay City but also to the Filipino people that the coronavirus will never break our spirit and determination to heal as one nation, and bounce back,” she added.