Issue of July 26, 2020
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Cordillera police give boost to region’s tourism industry
by Jane B. Cadalig

Police in the Cordillera have started innovating on the conduct of their traditional flag-raising rites, giving emphasis on the region’s stature as a preferred destination.

In Benguet, the provincial police office has joined in the initiative by holding their weekly startup event at the La Trinidad Strawberry farms on July 20.

The Baguio City Police Office has so far held their weekly tradition in two of the city’s tourism icons – the Burnham Park Lake during the launching of the 25th Police Community Relations Month on July 6 and at the Lion’s Head along Kennon Road on June 20.

Benguet PPO Director, Col. Elmer E. Ragay, said the initiative is in response to the call of Police Regional Office-Cordillera Director, B/Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan, for city and provincial police offices to help promote local tourism by holding their weekly flag-raising activities in tourist spots.

Ragay added the initiative also intends to convince local government units to prepare for the reopening of their tourist areas as the country transitions to the new normal.

“Aside from showcasing local destinations, this is our way of convincing LGUs to start reopening their areas. We cannot be enslaved by the (Covid-19 infection) forever,” he said, adding that in so doing, adherence to the minimum health protocols should remain paramount.

The La Trinidad Strawberry farms played host to the Benguet PPO’s Monday flag-raising rites – the first for the office since the declaration of the community quarantine mid-March – being the province’s capital town.

Ragay said the provincial police will make the rounds to other municipalities in the coming weeks.

La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda welcomed the police initiative and expressed the town officials’ gratitude to the men and women in uniform for helping the local government manage the Covid-19 pandemic by strictly implementing checkpoints and by going after those who violate the protocols laid down to mitigate the spread of the infection.

Complementing its stature as a tourist destination, Municipal Tourism Officer Valred Olsim said the La Trinidad Strawberry Farms is considered a symbol of life for sustaining the livelihood of farmers and souvenir shop operators in the area.

In Mountain Province, the municipal police offices of Sagada and Besao also featured the famed Lake Danum, a body of water that borders the two towns, during their July 20 flag-raising rites.

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