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DOT: Puerto Galera is still accessible to visitors.

One of Mindoro’s most popular tourist spots, Puerto Galera, is still open to visitors and is unaffected by an oil spill, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

The municipal government of Puerto Galera stated that the region “remains negative of the effects of the oil spill,” according to tourism secretary Christina Frasco.

We are happy to inform the public that the key attractions in that region, including Puerto Galera, are still at or over 90% capacity with regard to reservations. Because Puerto Galera’s tourism products are still being offered, we encourage our fellow Filipinos to visit the city, Frasco said in a news release on Tuesday.

Members of the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) and Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) have not reported any cancellations of travel or lodging reservations in Puerto Galera or surrounding popular tourist locations, their respective presidents stated in an interview.

For visitors arriving from Luzon, Puerto Galera has one of the easiest-to-reach white-sand beaches. It is renowned for its lush vegetation and flourishing marine species, which attracts divers.

The location of destination is close to Calapan City, south of the island of Mindoro.

As for us, not even our members are impacted, according to HSMA president Loleth So.

63 destinations are impacted

While the oil spill affects some areas of Mindoro, Frasco pledged that the DOT would provide help to affected tourism workers through training programs for alternate sources of income.

The spread of thick bunker oil from the MT Princess Empress, which sank off Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, last February 28, has so far impacted 63 tourist destinations and up to 1,000 tourism workers.

We are keeping a close eye on this, and I’ve already told the regional offices to develop a recovery action plan so that we can provide guidance to all of our affected tourism stakeholders. We will also make sure to offer social protection to all of our affected tourism workers, Frasco added.

A list of impacted workers is anticipated to be produced by the DOT’s regional offices in Region 4-B (Mimaropa) and Western Visayas and endorsed to the Department of Labor and Employment’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers program.

The DOT will also carry out a learning needs analysis to create an oil spill training module to better prepare tourist stakeholders in the event that similar accidents occur in the future.

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