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Novel Coronavirus and the Philippines’ Tourism Industry

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Recently, the issue regarding Novel Coronavirus has been a trending topic all over the world due to the fear it brought to every person all around the globe. The virus originated in Wuhan, China, and eventually, it spread to nearby countries such as Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, and as far as the United States and United Kingdom. The virus is known to be a transmissible virus that causes severe respiratory infection. Despite the fear it brought to various countries, Philippines remain to be unmoved, yet the country is vigilant and does not lower their guards down when it comes to Novel Coronavirus. As a matter of fact, the Department of Tourism (DOT) claimed that even though there is a present scare over Novel Coronavirus, or also known as nCoV, Philippines is still a safe country to visit for travel and tourism purposes.

In a press conference held in the city of Makati, Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat justified their statement by saying that the safety of everyone, whether tourists or anyone in the tourism industry will always be secured and will always be their top priority. She added that they will never invite tourists tocome if there will be an incident that will ruin the image of the Philippines. Additionally, she also said that everything is handled carefully and safety is sure so there is nothing to worry about for the authorities of the country are in control of the situation. They also reported precautionary measures such as the containment and stopping of flights in Boracay. It is also lately reported that the suspension of flights between Wuhan and Philippines has been ordered by Civil Aeronautics Board for the purpose of preventing the spread of the disease. Nevertheless, she clarified that she wanted every tourists to be safe from any harm, including viruses and calamities. Despite of their claims and justifications regarding their prioritization of everyone’s safety, especially the tourists, a question was asked on how would the virus impact the arrivals of tourists given the fact that China is Manila’s second top market. Romulo-Puyat responded that it will be too premature to answer the question, but again, she asserted that safety will always be their primary priority.

Even though they are claiming that it is safe to travel in the Philippines, it is still questionable and debatable whether it is factually safe to come to the Philippines. First of all, they could not strongly claim the safety of the tourists whether or not there will be a case of Novel Coronavirus inside the country, for the country is not capable of confirming and detecting the virus because there are no facilities to do so. In fact, as reported by Magsino (2020) of GMA News, theDepartment of Health is just recently setting up labs for confirmatory tests, and confirmatory tests are done in an Australian laboratory. These are strong supporting statements that the country is not that capable and prepared to face Novel Coronavirus for it is just starting their steps in setting up their guards against the virus, which also adds to the doubt if the country is really safe to visit for tourism purposes.

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Additionally, the first case of Novel Coronavirus in the Philippines was recently reported and confirmed last January 30, 2020, on the other hand, the statements of Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat were given January 24, 2020. Now, it is possible that during the press- conference, they were unaware that the virus was spreading, for Novel Coronavirus can be infectious even before people show symptoms. As reported by Naftulin (2020), Ma Xiaowei, China's National Health Commission Minister, stated that someone with the virus could not exhibit any kinds of symptoms anytime between a day and 14 days, but he/she is considered infectious and may spread the virus to other people. At this point, it is therefore questionable if the statements of Romulo-Puyat were leaned on facts or the need to increase the figures regarding the country’s tourism industry. It is unsure if they are aware of the facts before they made and concluded any statement, which further decreases the reliability of their affirmations.

For those reasons, their claims and presented justifications does not adequately and fully support their assertions, for it seems that it is leaned on their interest to maintain the image and tourism industry of the country, and not really on the facts considering the safety of everyone, especially the tourists. They did not base their statements on truthful information, and examining their claims leads to the judgment that they have made illogical reasoning and unconvincing answers.

Therefore, it is disagreeable to concur to their pronouncement for their reasoning are illogical and insufficient. However, their statement regarding the steps they are taking to contain the virus can be hard to argue with, for it is legitimate. Their claims about the taking charge of the authorities are fully supported by their own legitimate reports of actions in dealing with the national issue. However, they fail to recognize the need of the public, especially the tourists to know the exact truth regarding the Novel Coronavirus when they jumped into the conclusion that the Philippines is safe for tourists to visit, which is a clear fallacious statement. For these reasons, it is therefore concluded and strongly justified that the assertion made by Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, ensuring the safety of the tourists from the Novel Coronavirus inside the Philippines, is illogically claimed for they fail to recognize and address the existing truth regarding the virus. Hence, hiding the truth from the public for the purpose of securing the industry of the country’s tourism.


  1. Naftulin, J. (2020, January 26). Wuhan Coronavirus Can Be Infectious Before People Show Symptoms, Official Claims. Retrieved February 6, 2020, from
  2. Magsino, D. (2020, January 29). Philippines to set up own lab for nCoV confirmatory tests.
  3. GMA New Online. Retrieved from
  5. for-ncov-confirmatory-tests/story/
  6.  Rocamora, J. A. L. (2020, January 24). Retrieved February 6, 2020, from
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Novel Coronavirus and the Philippines’ Tourism Industry. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 3, 2024, from
“Novel Coronavirus and the Philippines’ Tourism Industry.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
Novel Coronavirus and the Philippines’ Tourism Industry. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Mar. 2024].
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