BAGUIO City and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority collaborated to conduct COVID-19 tests on 2,000 persons in the city and 1,000 others in the LISTT (La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay) area. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BAGUIO PIO
Acknowledging the concerns of neighboring towns that are protecting their territories from coronavirus infection, Baguio City assured that the tourist movements in the country’s Summer Capital will be strictly monitored.
Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong Jr. signed a memorandum of understanding with officials and representatives of Region 1 (Ilocos) and Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on rules regarding the opening of Baguio to tourists starting 21 September.
The move is a bid to revive the tourism industry that incurred major financial losses during quarantines and lockdowns.
Benguet Governor Melchor Diclas said they understand and respect the decision of Baguio to accept travelers from Region 1 but said there should be coordination with neighboring municipalities, like the Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT) area, since the city is inside Benguet province.
Tuba Mayor Clarita Sal-ongan is also concerned about Baguio’s move as tourists going to Baguio will pass through their towns.
City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo said they have formulated guidelines and policies for tourists, like pre-registration online and stopovers in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur only.
Stopvers within Pangasinan, La Union and Benguet will be prohibited.
“There will be no stopovers in those areas so as not to distract the residents’ daily routines,” he added.
Mapalo said the tourists must have prior bookings with hotels. Staying with relatives or friends in Baguio City will not be allowed to enable monitoring of their movements. Visiting places outside the city is likewise not allowed.