It’s back to the Philippines from February 10th! The Philippines will start to accept fully-vaccinated foreign leisure travelers from visa-free countries beginning February 10, 2022.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat made the announcement a few days ago after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved the proposal of the Department of Tourism (DOT).
“We at the DOT are very thankful to our partners in the IATF-EID for approving our proposal to allow the entry of foreign leisure travelers. The Department sees this as a welcome development that will contribute significantly to job restoration, primarily in tourism-dependent communities, and in the reopening of businesses that have earlier shut down during the pandemic,’’ Puyat said.
“With years of coordination between national agencies, industry stakeholders, and the various local government units (LGUs) to prepare our destinations for tourism in the new normal, we are confident that we will be able to keep pace with our ASEAN neighbors who have already made similar strides to reopen to foreign tourists,” added the tourism chief.
Puyat clarified that the recent IATF-EID decision will cover only leisure travelers from countries whose nationals are allowed visa-free entry to the Philippines.
It can be recalled that, last year, the IATF-EID approved the entry of fully vaccinated tourists from Green List countries/territories/jurisdictions starting Dec. 1, 2021 but was temporarily suspended due to the omicron variant.
Earlier today, the IATF-EID announced the suspension of the country classification system starting Feb. 1, 2022. Also starting Feb. 1, fully-vaccinated returning overseas Filipinos will no longer be required to undergo quarantine as long as they are able to present a negative result of an RT-PCR test taken 48 hours before arrival.
Likewise, starting Feb. 10 and upon consultation with health experts, qualified leisure travelers will also no longer be required to undergo quarantine as long as they are able to present a negative result of an RT-PCR test taken 48 hours before arrival.
“We are also aware that there is no room for complacency given the unpredictability of the virus. We will closely monitor the situation and ensure that health and safety protocols are strictly implemented in all tourism establishments,” Puyat noted.
Based on the IATF-EID guidelines, leisure travelers from visa-free countries will be allowed to enter the country, provided that their passports are valid for at least six months at the time of arrival, and they possess outbound tickets to their country of origin or next country of destination.
Leisure visitors must also carry proof of vaccination against COVID-19 that are recognized by the IATF-EID. They include certificates of vaccination issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), VaxCertPH of the Department of Health (available at https://vaxcert.doh.gov.ph), and a national/ state digital certificate of a foreign government which has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement unless otherwise permitted by the IATF.
The list of countries whose nationals are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa are those listed under EO 408 and can be found in this link: https://dfa.gov.ph/list-of-countries-for-21-day-visa.
Dick Clarke Receives DAN Lifetime Achievement Award (Watch Video)
Divers Alert Network® (DAN®), has awarded the 2023 DAN Lifetime Achievement Award to Dick Clarke. Clarke has been a leader in hyperbaric oxygen therapy as well as hyperbaric medical research and education for over 40 years.
Clarke’s work in recreational diving began in 1969, when after a decade in the Royal Navy he began working at the International Underwater Explorers Society on Grand Bahama Island. There he encountered numerous pioneers of diving and diving research who he credits as mentors. In the 1970s Clarke worked on many undersea living projects funded by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration as well as Oceaneering International. He helped develop the diver medic program at the Commercial Diving Center/LA County Medical Center and in 1986 founded the National Board of Diving & Hyperbaric Medical Technology (NBDHMT), of which he is still president today.
Clarke has served as a reviewer for the U.S. Navy Diving Manual as well as the journals Anesthesiology, British Medical Journal, Undersea Biomedical Research, Undersea Hyperbaric Medicine, and Diving Hyperbaric Medicine. He has contributed to the NOAA Diving Manual and numerous other texts relating to the practice of hyperbaric medicine.
“Dick has made so many contributions to diving and hyperbaric medicine that it is hard to know where to start,” said John J. Feldmeier, DO. “He has been the discipline’s voice for safe and ethical application of hyperbaric oxygen treatment for more than four decades.”
“It’s hard to imagine a more deserving recipient of the DAN Lifetime Achievement Award than Dick Clarke,” said DAN President and CEO Bill Ziefle. “Dick has done so much over the years to advance the cause of hyperbaric medical treatment for divers. His research and his tireless dedication to educating medical providers has led to improved outcomes for countless injured divers. We’re proud to recognize Dick Clarke with this award.”
Shaping Tomorrow’s Shores: The Future of Coastal Habitat Restoration
A new partnership between World Wide Fund for Nature – Netherlands (WWF-NL) , the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and Coastal Dynamics will spearhead an initiative to define future conservation and restoration projects within Dutch Caribbean coastal habitats. Centered around mangroves and seagrass beds, this ambitious feasibility study aims to craft a portfolio of forward-looking projects. The objective is to fortify these areas against escalating threats like climate change, pollution, and unsustainable coastal development, ensuring their sustained health and resilience.
The Dutch Caribbean is home to unique island ecosystems facing challenges from overdevelopment, climate change, and other environmental pressures. Coastal ecosystems represent critically important areas, particularly in regards to their biodiversity, climate resilience, and cultural heritage. The proposed feasibility study seeks to bridge gaps in expertise, resources, and collaboration across all six of the Dutch Caribbean islands (Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius).
The primary goal of the project is to conduct an in-depth feasibility study under the DCNA’s Conservation and Restoration of Key Habitats Program. Key components of the study include assessing the current status of mangroves and seagrass beds, stakeholder engagement, and conducting an overall resource assessment.
The study will focus on coastal area restoration, specifically targeting mangroves and seagrass beds in collaboration with Dutch Caribbean Park Organizations. The aim is to develop a nature-inclusive approach with nature-based solutions to enhance resilience and sustainability. Overall, this project has two main objectives:
- Feasibility Study: Assess the viability of conservation efforts, including technical, financial, and human resource requirements.
- Knowledge Sharing & Capacity Building: Present findings, address knowledge gaps, and build capacity among Park Organizations for effective restoration initiatives.
The feasibility study’s success is crucial for creating a comprehensive understanding of coastal habitat conditions, fostering collaboration, and laying the groundwork for future restoration programs. By unifying efforts, the study aims to enhance communication, knowledge sharing, and resource utilization across all six islands.
Header Image: Kai Wulf
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