Tagaytay has always been a go-to weekend spot because of its proximity to the Metro, except in the past six months because of the community quarantine declared in most parts of the Philippines. But now that the province of Cavite is under modified general community quarantine, Tagaytay City hopes to jumpstart the economy by opening their tourist spots, restaurants, and hotels to the public.
In an ABS-CBN TeleRadyo interview on Monday morning, September 21, Tagaytay City administrator Gregorio Monreal said that almost 80% of the city's restaruants have reopened for business and 10% of the hotels are ready to accommodate tourists. Picnic Grove, People's Park, and Sky Ranch have also been opened to the public at 50% capacity.
"Sa mga gustong pumunta ng Tagaytay, pakiusap namin ay sumunod lang ho sa aming health and safety protocols. Kung hindi ho ay kawawa ang ating mga establisimyento dahil kung mgkakaroon ng kaso, automatic lockdown ho ang establishment," Monreal added.
Do non-Cavite residents need a travel pass?
Tourists coming from places with stricter quarantine implementation (Metro Manila included) will have to present a travel pass, according to the consensus between the Joint Task Force COVID Shield and Tagaytay City government. This comes after last week's statements on travel passes between the local government officials and the Task Force.
On September 15, Monreal stated in a radio interview with dzBB that a travel pass is not required for non-Cavite residents. "Sa mga pupunta sa amin [sa Tagaytay] ay hindi na namin inoobliga [ang travel pass], ang kailangan lang ay mag-fill out ng health declaration forms," he said.
But later in the day, on September 15, Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar—commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield—reminded the public that people coming from areas under general community quarantine (like National Capital Region) to places under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) (like Cavite) must secure a medical certificate and a travel pass from the police.
"Sa ngayon, wala pa rin pong pagbabago na ang mga probinsiya, pag kayo ay magko-cross ng border unless kayo ay authorized person at nagta-travel kayo nang work-related. While it is true 'yong Tagaytay City hindi sila nagche-check kung sino pumapasok doon pero 'yon po ay para sa nasa loob na ng probinsiya just like any other provinces. Kung galing kayo sa labas kailangan ng travel authority," Eleazar clarified in an interview with TeleRadyo.
On September 17 4 a.m., Cavite governor Jonvic Remulla said: "Bukas po ang Tagaytay City under MGCQ at hindi po kinakailangan ng TRAVEL PASS para makarating dito."
But presidential spokesperson Harry Roque reiterated later in the day of September 17 the rule on crossing borders during a televised press briefing.
"Mga taga-Metro Manila na nais pumunta ng Tagaytay, kinakailangan ninyo pong kumuha ng travel pass at bago kayo mabigyan ng travel pass ng PNP, kinakailangan magprisinta po kayo ng medical certificate," he said.
Eleazor further clarified that the travel pass is no longer needed if you're going to and from two places that are both under MGCQ.
"Pag galing ka d'yan (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Batangas), hindi ka puwedeng pumunta doon (Tagaytay) nang walang travel authority," he said in an interview with ANC on September 18.
On September 21, Remulla expressed his concern about confusing statements. "Dito sa Pilipinas ay nakakalito at sadyang nakakadismaya ang implementasyon ng mga patakaran laban sa COVID-19," he said in a Facebook post. He cited the example on the issuance of travel pass.
"Puedeng tumawid ang may 100,000 na Caviteño patungong NCR without a travel pass para pumasok sa trabaho ngunit BAWAL pumunta ang mga taga-NCR sa Tagaytay kapag walang travel pass," he added.
*This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.