MANILA – The highly-anticipated nationwide mall sale has been moved to a later date due to the “alarming rise” in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases worldwide, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on Saturday.
The event, billed as the Philippines’ version of Singapore’s Great Sale and Hong Kong’s Summer Sale, was supposed to take place in the entire month of March as part of the 2020 Philippine Shopping Festival.
“As much as we want to mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), the safety of our citizens remains our priority. We advise the general public to maintain proper hygiene and follow the guidelines set by the Department of Health to contain the spread of the virus,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.
The agency has coordinated with the mall establishments and cited their support for the decision to postpone the nationwide sale for the safety of customers.
“The malls are still free to continue (their) day-to-day operations. The DOT also recommends that malls follow the precautionary measures set by the Department of Health, such as checking the temperatures of mall-goers before allowing them to enter and the provision of more hand sanitizers in their premises,” the DOT said.
The department has yet to provide a target date for the event.
The DOT had repeatedly maintained its stance to prioritize the safety of the public more than visitor arrivals and revenue.
At the height of Taal Volcano’s unrest in January, the DOT recommended ceasing the operations of all tourism establishments in the affected areas for the safety and well-being of tourists and employees alike. (ia/sovereignph.com/PNA)