Samal now allows limited resort ops, tourism activities

Photo by Ace Perez

RESORT facilities and accommodation establishments in the Island Garden City of Samal can now accommodate guests up to 75 percent of their operational capacity.

This is in accordance to Executive Order (EO) 277, Series of 2021, issued by Igacos Mayor Al David Uy on February 27, 2021 that allows limited resort operations and tourism activities in the island.

Section 3.5 of the EO states that "ancillary facilities like dine-in restaurants, fast food, cafes, bars, gyms, spas and the like operating inside the resort facility shall also observe the 75 [percent] seating/operational capacity and observe the minimum health and safety standard requirements.”

Function halls/rooms and other facilities in resorts and accommodation are also mandated to observe the same operational capacity.

Land and sea transport used by resort/accommodation facilities in transporting guests should also observe the 75 percent maximum seating capacity.

"For car or sedan, no passenger may sit beside the driver, except, on vans where only one passenger may be allowed to occupy the passenger’s seat while two passengers may occupy each row with one seat apart. No standing passengers shall be allowed," the EO states.

All resorts and accommodation establishments shall secure an accreditation from the Department of Tourism (DOT), Certificate of Registration from the City Tourism and Investment Office (CITO) of Igacos, certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO), and renewed and existing business permit before commencing operations.

Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (Mice), or personal milestone celebrations are also allowed up to 75-percent of the venue’s seating capacity. The Mice host/organizer/provider or the individual celebrating the personal milestone or its planner/organizer is required to secure a Mayor's Permit to conduct the event or occasion.

Application for Mayor’s Permit shall be made by the Mice or host or the accommodation/resort management to the Cito at least seven working days prior to the actual date or conduct of the event/occasion.

Meanwhile, QR codes will be required prior entry to the city and any resort or accommodation.

Non-Igacos residents will be required pre-booking and no "walk in" guest shall be allowed.

"No Booking, No QR Code, No Entry Policy shall be imposed," the EO states.

Residents, meanwhile, do not need pre-booking.

Resorts shall facilitate requests to Tourist QR Code for non-residents.

QR Code and valid ID shall be required upon entry.

Minor guests may be allowed provided that they are accompanied by their parents. Senior citizens will no longer be required to secure medical certificates.

Island hopping, scuba diving, snorkeling, and other aqua sport activities such as jet skiing, wakeboarding, motor boating, water skiing, cliff diving, kayaking, snorkeling, banana boating and the like are now allowed.

However, snorkeling and diving shall only be allowed if the guests bring his/her own equipment such as snorkel, flippers goggles, floating gears and others.

Island hopping and scuba diving in dive sites outside of the resorts shall be allowed up to 50 percent operational and seating capacity subject to the guidelines set by the EO.

Tourism activities within the island resumed on Monday, March 1, after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the request of the City Government to reopen its tourism industry.


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