Issue of September 13, 2020
Mt. Province
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Itogon, LT opens resorts, hiking sites for locals only
by Ofelia C. Empian

Residents of Itogon and La Trinidad in Benguet will have a chance to destress in their own tourism spots particularly at the private pools and hiking sites.

Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan has authorized the opening on Sept. 3 of the town’s swimming pools and resorts following basic health protocols.

“This will give our residents a time to destress during this pandemic and to slowly open our tourism here for our businessmen to also gain income,” Palangdan said.

Under the executive order, those coming from outside Itogon must present proof of residency such as barangay certification and accomplished health declaration form.

The requirements for these private pools are to ensure that the 50 percent maximum operational capacity shall be observed while plastic shields will be installed at the cashier’s counter. Aside from logbooks, a hand washing area shall be provided at the entrance.

The one-meter physical distancing  and no spitting policies will be implemented inside the resort while steam baths will be limited to two to four persons at a time.  All guests and employees must also properly discard used face masks and gloves.

Pools and resorts shall open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. only. Pool owners should disallow night swimming and swimming accessories such as but not limited to floaters; bringing in and consumption of alcoholic beverages; and videoke rentals shall be by contract basis only.

The owners are responsible in coordinating with the Municipal Health and Services Office for contract tracing when necessary and to practice other applicable precautionary measures in line with the prevention of Covid-19.

In La Trinidad, Mayor Romeo Salda said they have already opened three eco-tourism sites that could be visited by residents namely Mt. Kalugong at Barangay Cruz, Mt. Costa at Barangay Puguis and Avong nen Romy at Barangay Wangal.

Salda said the three sites shall only open during the weekend only and will employ 50 percent maximum operational capacity.

He added that other tourism sites in the town would soon open as they are undergoing preparation and must undergo evaluation by the municipal LGU prior to opening.

He said the LGU is also preparing Strawberry Farm for its opening to tourists. “For now, we allowed the souvenir shops to open at intervals,” he said.

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