Puerto Galera, the primary tourism destination in Oriental Mindoro, has gradually reopened for tourists coming outside of the province, but visitors will be subjected to certain regulations.
Puerto Galera Mayor Rocky D. Ilagan issued an executive order detailing the conditions that must be met by tourists entering Puerto Galera, which is famous for its long beach, and snorkeling and diving sites.
Prior to entry, incoming tourists must have a negative RT-PCR test which is valid 48 hours upon release of the result.
For accommodation, visitors must also pre-book through accredited accommodation establishments followed by online registration through Puerto Galera mobile app.
Travel to the island shall be point-to-point from Berberabe Port in Batangas City to Muelle Port via water taxi services. But tourists with private vehicles shall be allowed to pass through Calapan Port.
Tourists shall only be allowed to book accommodations with Authority to Operate (AO) from the Department of Tourism (DOT). At present, more than 40 establishments have been given AO by the DOT.
During a meeting with Puerto Galera officials, Oriental Mindoro Governor Bonz Dolor stressed the importance of strictly practicing the minimum public health standards and monitoring the movements of tourists.
According to Governor Dolor, a tourist who showed any COVID-19 symptom must be processed using the established protocols. If the particular tourist tested positive for COVID-19, the operations of the tourism industry will once again be closed temporarily for contact tracing and disinfection activities.
The governor assured Mayor Ilagan of the support of the Provincial Government for the reopening of Puerto Galera.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Puerto Galera is one of the key tourist destinations in the country that attract foreign and domestic tourists whole-year round. Tourists visit its numerous pocket beaches and excellent snorkeling and diving spots, some of them feature sunk World War II vessels.
The coastal town is known as “one of the most beautiful bays in the world” and was declared as “man and biosphere reserve” by UNESCO. Puerto Galera is also very accessible from Metro Manila, as well from other provinces in South Luzon as it is just a one-hour ferry ride from the port of Batangas.