An official of one of the province’s largest resorts welcomed the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases’ plan to designate Bohol as an alternative quarantine destination for returning overseas Filipinos (ROF) and overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
Modala Beach Resort manager Rommel Gonzales in an interview over station dyRD’s “Inyong Alagad,” said on Wednesday that the move would be beneficial to resorts but noted that quarantining should only be allowed in establishments accredited as isolation facilities.
“This is a welcome move, but ito ang condition, ang atong mga resort, mga dagkong hotel they must apply for a quarantine facility accreditation because you cannot accept mga guests or OFW for quarantine if you are not a quarantine facility,” he said.
However, Gonzales said that he is not considering Modala to be among quarantine facilities in the resort town of Panglao.
“Ako, I am not going into that. I don’t want my facility to be a quarantine facility, but there are other resorts na ganahan ma quarantine facility,” he said.
According to Gonzales, the initiative will be beneficial for resorts even as those allowed by the government to operate as quarantine facilities in Cebu have regulated accommodation rates.
“They can still make money although the rate is regulated, but still, at least, better than having an empty hotel,” he added.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Anthony Damalerio earlier said that the RIATF has suggested to designate Bohol as an alternative quarantine destination for OFWs and ROFs amid the reported congestion of isolation facilities in Metro Cebu.
Damalerio said they were awaiting a formal letter from the RIATF to Governor Arthur Yap requesting for the approval to divert at least one flight per day to the Bohol Panglao International Airport (BPIA).
The official also expressed support for the initiative as he projected it would provide convenience to Bohol-bound ROFs and OFWs and generate business for resorts and hotels in Panglao which have been heavily hit by the nationwide tourism slump.
According to Gonzales, some resorts in Panglao have reopened but tourists have not been arriving due to the continued implementation of travel restrictions across the country.
“As of now, honestly wala pay nangabot gikan sa NCR [National Capital Region] plus,” he said.
He suggested the inclusion of hospitality industry workers as among priorities in the government’s vaccination campaign to entice tourists to travel to Bohol and to promote the province as a safe destination. (R. Tutas)