The Department of Tourism (DOT) would recommend a one-day exemption for children below 15 years old in Intramuros after seeing several visitors, mostly families, unable to enter some sites inside when the area was partially reopened for the public.
The walled city opened the gates of Fort Santiago, Casa Manila Museum, and Baluarte de San Diego on Feb. 17 but only for visitors aged 15 to 65 years old.
“Ang pinu-push namin [iyong] walang age restrictions. Kahapon nagulat kami, nagbukas ang Intramuros 2 p.m., maraming nakapila dala-dala ‘yong anak kasi hindi naman nila puwedeng iwan ang anak nila. Hindi namin mapapasok kasi bawal pa (We’re pushing for a no age restriction policy. We saw yesterday when we reopened Intramuros around 2 p.m. that most visitors have their children with them. They weren’t able to enter because it’s not allowed yet),” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a PolitikoTV Channel interview on Thursday.
She said she would suggest at least a one-day exemption for families, including senior citizens.
“Kasi ang turismo ay para sa pamilya, hindi lang for 15 to 65 (This is because tourism is for families not only those aged 15 to 65 years old),” she said.
Citing the survey titled “The Evolving Landscape of Domestic Travel in the Philippines” by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM)-Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism, Romulo-Puyat noted that most people see travel as a way to cope with stress and “keep their sanity” amid the still ongoing pandemic.
The tourism chief said she would suggest a two-week study or pilot run for the one-day exemption before the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. (PNA)