Despite the current state of general community quarantine (GCQ) in the Cordillera region, tourists are still permitted to visit and book hotel accommodations in the area.
As per Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s request to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), tourism in the city remains operational, spared the restrictions brought about by the imposition of GCQ. However, it was still subject to compliance with health protocols and contact-tracing measures.
After a surge in Covid19 infections was seen in certain provinces of the Cordilleras, the city government closed its borders to travelers, causing some 3,000 tourists who were cleared to enter the city this month to cancel or delay their accommodation bookings, said the tourism office. They would have to undergo yet another clearing process before being allowed entry to the city.
Magalong asked for exemption, fearing that the GCQ status would undo the efforts of the local tourism industry, which “had just started to take off.” Because of the pandemic’s resultant lockdowns and quarantines, businesses had closed down in the region, costing the tourism industry as much as P1.6 billion.
According to tourism secretary Bernadette Puyat, the IATF had okayed Magalong’s request as Baguio already had “institutionalized protocols” regarding tourist registration, which involves a screening process through a surveillance platform called the Visitor Information and Travel Assistance program.
Photo: Business News Philippines