January 29, 2023

Not only are festivities cancelled in light of the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic but even all tourism sites in La Trinidad, Benguet are temporarily closed to tourists.
Mayor Romeo Salda, in an executive order signed March 11, temporary suspended all crowd-drawing tourism activities in the capital town until further notice.
This is in line with the president’s declaration of a state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines brought about by the Covid-19.
“For this purpose, identified as crowd-drawing and/or tourism activities are concerts, pageants, fun runs, barangay and coop assemblies, major programs and other activities of similar nature, whether private or LGU-led (municipality or barangay),” Salda stated.
Municipal Tourism Action Officer Valred Olsim said the EO covers the closure of various tourism sites, whether public or private, including the strawberry farm, flower and succulent farms located in barangays Shilan, Alapang, Bahong and Bineng.
Olsim said they have already placed advisories on major tourism sites informing of the closure with Benguet State University that manages the strawberry farm by closing its gates.
But Olsim said there are still groups of tourists, some even busloads, who came to visit the various farms, uninformed of the temporary closure.
“We advise the site owners to cooperate especially if they have visitors coming from other places,” he said.
He said they will have to make use of the down time to plan for the eventual reopening of the various sites.
“Although I personally feel bad regarding these developments, health officials recommend that the same is for public safety and we trust them regarding said matters,” he said. 
The various flower farms in the municipality, featuring rose gardens and sunflowers, became instant hit to local and foreign tourists when these farms opened recently.
Meanwhile, the municipality of Kabayan, Benguet closed all of its tourism sites until further notice including Mt. Pulag National Park, which earlier issued an advisory on the precautionary closure of the park.
The local government of Atok, Benguet also announced the closure of tourism sites to include the Haight’s Place, Sakura Park, and Northern Blossom until further notice.
Only the cafe area at Haight Place is open for motorists wanting to drop by for coffee and food. – Ofelia C. Empian