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Local units have final say on travel limits, Tourism agency says

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PHILSTAR/MIGUEL ANTONIO DE GUZMAN

Local governments will have the final say on whether to allow the entry of travelers from Metro Manila even after lockdown measures are eased by the National Government, according to the Tourism department.

Local governments in areas that are reopening for tourists have agreed that only locals are allowed to travel within their region, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat told an online news briefing on Tuesday.

“Tourism is now allowed but again, with the concurrence of the local government unit,” she said in mixed English and Filipino.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez on Monday said Metro Manila should shift to a modified general community quarantine by October so more sectors could reopen.

The Tourism department launched a program for Northern Luzon where as many as 200 tourists may enter Baguio City daily starting Oct. 1. Other areas in the region may accept up to 50 travelers daily.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said the won’t accept tourists yet from Metro Manila, considered as the local center of the pandemic.

Of the new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, 583 came from Metro Manila, 102 from Cavite, 97 from Iloilo, 67 from Rizal and 57 from Cebu, the agency said.

Meanwhile, P400 million of funds originally meant to rehabilitate Burnham Park in Baguio City had been channeled into the government’s anti-coronavirus efforts, Ms. Puyat said. The project will resume once funds become available, Mr. Magalong said. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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