THE Department of Tourism (DOT) in the Cordillera Administrative Region strongly advised the public to transact business only with accredited travel and tour agencies and accredited training centers.
On May 21, the DOT-Cordillera released the advisory following various reports received by its office on the proliferation of non-accredited entities advertising services in different social media platforms on airline ticketing, travel and tours management, hotel booking and training offerings for travel business management.
"Entities with valid and existing accreditation with the department have information websites and or online pages bearing the DOT's quality seal and their corresponding accreditation number with validity. The public is hereby warned to be vigilant in dealing with these entities, as there can
be no guarantee on the reliability and legitimacy of their products and services," the advisory read.
The DOT added that all travel agencies or tour operators, including online bookings, are covered under the DOT Accreditation Law provided in Republic Act 9593, also known as the Tourism Act of 2009, and supported by the Department of the Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular 2019-17, requiring accreditation before issuance of business permits.
"Once you are accredited, it means all documents are seen. It is also an endorsement that you are safe conducting business or engaging services," said DOT-Cordillera Officer-in-Charge Jovita Ganongan.
"We also would like accredited travel agency and tour operators to engage with accredited transport and tour bus who has the necessary papers, insurance and not colorum," she added.