March 4, 2024

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Bontoc is now opening its doors for inter-barangay tourism activities effective Oct. 28. 

The move was a result of a consensus of all the 16 barangays of Bontoc during the Municipal Peace and Order Council meeting on Oct. 21 in Barangay Talubin.

Municipal Tourism Officer Caren R. Guinayen presented the idea to the members of the council, who did not have objections.

As per the agreement, only Bontoc residents shall be allowed to visit the tourist attractions of the 16 barangays. Minimum health standards shall be observed.

Mayor Franklin Odsey, in Executive Order 35, s. 2020, stipulated the guidelines for inter-barangay tourism activities.

Locals visiting other barangays must register at the barangay hall for temperature checking and initial interview by barangay officials; secure tour guides if possible; observe health protocols by the National Inter-Agency Task Force, Department of Health, municipal government, and other regulations set by the barangay; and pay entrance/environmental fees prescribed by the barangay.

Accommodation establishments are allowed to cater to locals of Mountain Province with no Covid-19 active case at the time of check-in.

However, accommodation establishments must check the travel documents of the guest to ensure that their point of origin has no Covid-19 active case; may operate at 100 percent capacity if they have applied for a certificate of authority to operate (CAO) from the Department of Tourism; may operate at 50 percent capacity if they have not yet applied for CAO from the DOT, provided that the establishments have been inspected by the Municipal Tourism Office and Municipal Health Office for temporary authority to operate; observe existing health protocols by the IATF, DOH, and LGU; follow health and safety guidelines set by the DOT; and adopt a booking system and if possible cater to guests with prior booking.

Accredited accommodation establishments may cater to authorized persons outside of residence particularly government officials and employees from outside Mountain Province, who is on official travel to Bontoc, provided that they present their updated medical clearance certificate, travel documents, and antigen/antibody test result taken within 72 hours before arrival.

Tourism-related establishments such as swimming pools, farmhouses, and the Bontoc Museum are allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity. Also, it shall adopt a booking system and if possible cater to guests with prior bookings; check each visitor’s temperature, provide logbooks for registration, and sanitation kits at the reception area; and adhere to the existing minimum health protocols.

The establishments may also set their regulations in adherence to the health protocols by the IATF, DOH, and LGU.

Guinayen said there are 28 accommodations and tourism-related establishments and 50 tour guides who have been affected by the pandemic. – Alpine L. Killa