The Department of Tourism (DOT) has assured that it is ready to assist in the recovery of tourism establishments which were hit by the Taal Volcano eruption, once the situation becomes stable.

“First, when it comes to promotions, we’re ready. But in terms of projects, we will be coordinating with the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority), sila ‘yong nagpapatawag for the recovery (they’re the ones tasked on the recovery),” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat told reporters in a press conference in Makati City.

Romulo-Puyat said the government is focused on helping evacuees who were forced to flee their homes when the volcano spewed steam and ash that covered Batangas and other adjacent provinces in southern Luzon.

“We have committed already depending on what they think is the need but it has to be coordinated with the NEDA.”

“Now, maybe it’s too early but we are, from day one, we’ve already been coordinating with the NEDA. We have committed already depending on what they think is the need but it has to be coordinated with the NEDA,” the tourism chief said.

Meanwhile, the tourism head reiterated calls on businesses to heed the advice by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) since ordering tourism establishments to stop operations does not fall within the DOT’s mandate.

“The safety of the workers and the tourists are more important than the numbers.” 

“Again, we came up with the statement that the safety of the workers and the tourists are more important than the numbers. Of course, in Tagaytay, tourism is the main occupation, but for us, we will always follow the guidance of Phivolcs,” she said.

“Always follow Phivolcs and of course they are always guided by DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government),” Romulo-Puyat added.

She underscored that the country remains safe for foreign tourists, adding other Philippine destinations remain “totally unaffected” by the recent volcanic eruption.

“The only one disrupted was in Taal, there had been no disruption in Clark. It was successfully diverted, only that part, but our top tourist spots –Boracay and Cebu– (they are) totally unaffected,” Romulo-Puyat concluded.

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