March 3, 2024

Local government units in the Cordillera have lifted the temporary suspension of  tourism-related activities in light of the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19).
The mayors of Atok and Kibungan in Benguet issued executive orders lifting the temporary suspension of all tourism activities in their respective areas while Sagada, Mountain Province has amended its executive order partially allowing tourism activities.
The towns cited the joint statement issued by the Departments of Health, Interior and Local Government, and Tourism dated Feb. 18 that it is safe to organize events and attend public gatherings so long as precautionary measures are observed properly.
Mayor Raymundo Sarac of Atok, in his executive order issued Feb. 20, said they have lifted the temporary suspension provided that precautionary measures be strictly observed, including pre-registration of tourists for monitoring of site owners or operators.
All tourists are required to register at Paoay barangay hall at Sitio Sayangan before proceeding to the tourism sites and all tourism site owners, and business establishment owners must provide hand sanitizers or rubbing alcohol, water, and soap for their clients.
Atok is famous for its eco-farm tourism sites such as the Northern Blossom and Haight’s Place where the Sakura Park is located.
Kibungan Mayor Cesar Molitas, in his EO issued Feb. 21, said its crowd-drawing activities such as the 50th Council Scout Jamboree and mountain climbing activities shall continue.
“Provided, that the washing of hands regularly is practiced and to seek medical attention if signs of cough, colds, sore throat and fever appear,” Molitas said.
“For big gatherings or organized events, all participants must be provided with sanitizers or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol, the use of surgical mask if possible, and providing wastebaskets for the proper disposal of all types of wastes. Furthermore, participants with cough, colds, sore throat, and fever are discouraged from attending the events,” he said.
Sagada Mayor James Pooten has issued the EO lifting the suspension of all eco-tourism activities in the municipality except for all spelunking or caving and sunrise viewing activities. – Ofelia C. Empian