March 31, 2023

Benguet’s plan to reopen its tourist sites has been put on hold due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in the province, now reaching close to 1,500.

Gov. Melchor Diclas said the continuing rise in Covid-19 cases will definitely affect the plan, saying even Baguio’s tourism plan has been impacted by the number of Covid-19 cases recorded in the city.

Diclas said reopening the tourist sites in the province will push through once the cases have gone down or when these are manageable.

He reiterated his earlier stand the 13 municipalities have the authority to decide whether they would open their tourist destinations or not.

Provincial Tourism Operations Officer Eleazar Carias said they have already forwarded the provincial tourism guidelines to the 13 municipal tourism officers as basis in drafting their own localized guidelines.

“We recommended a gradual opening starting from the residents then an intra-municipality arrangement. The people of Benguet would be the first to enjoy their own tourist sites,” Carias said. 

He added they encouraged the towns to identify certain destinations to open first, not necessarily the whole municipality.

He said pre-booking is encouraged as well as setting a maximum capacity for each destination.

La Trinidad has already approved the opening of 10 tourist sites for locals only and pre-booking is strictly required.

These are Mount Costa nature reserve with contact number 0977-409-7004; Darjanes Flower Garden; Lily of the Valley Organic Farm – 0920-685-8281; Avong nen Romy Nature Park – 0998-227-9343; and Living Gifts Cactus Farm – 0995-463-9824.

Other sites are Mt. Kalugong (0929-302-4287), Bell Church (0933-150-4606), Garden Nen Ynes Anthuria (0908-780-7006), Cosmic Farm (0926-724-9284), and Cordillera Farm Park. – Ofelia C. Empian