Issue of September 6, 2020
     
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DOT backs sustainable, safe tourism program of Baguio
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

Quality rather than quantity.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has pitched support to the initiatives of Baguio City to revive and eventually reopen its tourism industry, taking into account safety and sustainability even with the Covid-19 crisis.

In her keynote address as guest of honor of the city’s 111th Charter Day celebration on Sept. 1, Puyat said the DOT shall continue to work together with the city government and tourism stakeholders to sustainably and safely rebuild the industry and bring back jobs, livelihood, and security to the city.

She said the Tourism Promotions Board, DOT’s attached corporation, has committed to fund programs that spur the recovery of the city’s tourism industry, through its collaboration with the city government and the Baguio City Tourism Council in the implementation of five major projects: the multi-platform digital monitoring application Baguio VIS.I.T.A., sponsorship of a photo contest, establishment of a Baguio rebranding marketing and promotional project, setting up of the Baguio Creativity City website, and reviving the city’s weaving and fashion industry.

The DOT has put together a task force to focus on domestic tourism, which involves the identification of key indicators when the destination is ready, including the willingness or support of local leaders and communities and the capacity to handle health emergencies.

Puyat said they will not force LGUs to reopen for tourism and will closely coordinate with residents and local tourism councils for such plans because health and safety is a priority.

She said Baguio can anticipate reopening to tourists from its neighbors and visitors from Region 1, given how the city responded to the pandemic and put in place protocols and devised a contact tracing technique that has become a template for other regions and recognized by the World Health Organization.

Puyat cited the city for being one of the first LGUs to respond to the Covid-19 crisis when as early as January Mayor Benjamin Magalong has suspended the 2020 edition of the Panagbenga – a swift action, along with strict compliance to lockdown measures, that averted what could have been a dire situation given the nature of the annual festival as a crowd drawer.

She said the low number of Covid-19 cases in the city can also be attributed to the thorough process of testing, tracing, and isolating that continue to be implemented.

The secretary lauded the city’s detailed guidelines when soon tourists will be allowed to enter the city, such as tourists will be regulated and monitored through the Baguio VIS.I.T.A., where anyone who wishes to enter Baguio must pre-register and pre-book accommodations and undergo mandatory triage and PCR test at their own expense.

She also recognized the initiative of the city in preparing to enter into a Ridge to Reef tourism bubble with partner local government units with similarly low or zero risk areas, particularly Region 1.

“As Baguio readies to open its doors, we are being given the opportunity now to refocus on sustainable and responsible tourism taking into account quality rather than the quantity of tourists entering this iconic and beloved destination.

Baguio is more than just a place for visitors’ escape for its cool weather. It is an important and creative center whose rich religious, ethnic and artistic heritage brings deep pride to the Northerners who call this area home. It is your city’s strong sense of shared identity that has always pulled Baguio through previous disasters,” Puyat said.

 
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BUSINESS
DA refocuses remaining 2020 budget to ensure ample food

SEC receives ISO certification for its quality mgmt system

Small banks boost up MSME lending during COVID crisis

Investment pledges in RP keep on growing amid crisis

75,000 enlisted as online biz

DA gives sentinel piglets to help hog raisers recover

SSS mobile app covers 22 M transactions from Jan-June

Agribusiness, processing seen to be PH’s ‘sunrise’ agri subsector

DICT says more firms interested in building of common towers

Promoting digital literacy boosts electronic payments

LGU’s to decide on gym’s opening

Dairy farming pushed to boost livelihood of locals

TESDA launches 3rd batch of Project Silaw in Kapangan

70 small businesses in Abra get aid under NSB program

DA offers affordable loans to budding entrepreneurs

Loans for agrarian reform beneficiaries reach P583 M

Farmers expand prod’n area


Presidential communication to Spokesperson Harry Roque
Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Benguet

Baguio Central University
Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Congressman Eric Yap
Congressman Mark Go
Department of Labor and Employment – CAR
Department of Trade and Industry – CAR
Mayor Romeo K. Salda
National Grid Corporation of the Philippines
Pines City Colleges

Amare La Cucina
Assumption Medical Diagnostic Center, Inc.
Baguio Center Mall
Baguio Water District
Bruno’s Restaurant
Bureau of Fisheries and Acquatic Resources – CAR
C & Triple A Supermart
Department of Agriculture – CAR
Department of Transportation
Gov. Melchor D. Diclas, MD
John Hay Management Corporation
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong
MV Alabanza
Rianella Printing Press
Veterans Bank
Vice Mayor Faustino A. Olowan and Family

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