THE Department of Tourism (DOT) yesterday welcomed the reopening on Nov. 23 of another premiere destination in the Philippines, Siargao Island.
The teardrop-shaped island, known as the Philippines’ Surfing Capital, will welcome local tourists to its world-class white sand beaches, natural rock and cave pools, romantic sunsets, and wild water surf sites again.
This was confirmed by Mayor Cecilia L. Ruson of the municipality of General Luna, Surigao del Norte through a local executive order.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said “this is encouraging news for everyone who loves the sea, especially the surfers. As Siargao reopens to travelers, subject to minimum health and safety standards, the people of the island will regain their livelihood and share their paradise to our kababayans once more with the same level of hospitality they have always been known for.”
As flights to Siargao resume on December 1, tourists can visit the country’s most well-known surf spots through Sayak Airport near the barangays of Del Carmen and Heneral Luna and discover a variety of hidden attractions.
With its towering limestone hills, shorelines of white sands and tiny shells, mystical caves with crystal formations, and clear waters, Siargao has become the buzzword for surfers and nature travelers over the years.
Aside from surfing, other popular leisure activities include island hopping, kayaking, nature trekking, bird-watching, and leisure swimming.
The Siargao LGU has set minimum health and safety standards and COVID testing requirements before tourists arrive on the island, in compliance with IATF directives and local COVID management procedures.
Tourists arriving via Surigao City/Sayak Airport will be required an e-Health Pass with valid ID; Negative RT-PCR result taken within 48 hours from point of origin; a five-day confirmed booking from an accommodation establishment with a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) or Provisional Certificate of Authority to Operate (PCAO) from the Department of Tourism, and a round-trip ticket/travel details.
If RT-PCR is taken more than 48 hours of departure from point of origin, a negative antigen swab will be required on the day of arrival.
Meanwhile, tourists from the Province of Surigao del Norte will be required: e-Health Pass with Valid ID; certificate from Barangay Captain that Traveler is not a close contact; confirmed booking from an accredited DOT-accommodation establishment (AE).
For hotels and resorts, requirements to operate are: Business Permit; a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) from the DOT; E-Health System Registration; E-Health Pass or QR Code Reader and new normal protocols approved by the Municipal Health Office.
Curfew will also be enforced from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.