Tourism Office presents post-COVID-19 plans
City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo presented during the city council session last Monday, presided over by Vice mayor Olowan, the action plans and programs that were collated from inputs of different members of the Baguio Tourism Council.
Intended for the continued enhancement and promotion of the city’s tourism industry during and after the Covid-19 crisis, the plan was crafted for implementation covering the mitigation phase for April and May, the transition phase which is projected for June to August, and the full recovery phase to start by September towards the end of the year.
As part of effective communications in promoting Baguio, although under resiliency and recovery phase, the “Angat Tayo Baguio” video has been launched a week ago in the hope to keep inspiring tourists to visit the city after the crisis. Several communication activities are also set to be launched in the different stages towards a collective/integrated communication plan where all establishments or tourism accommodation can also contribute in terms of promotions like offering discounts for future prospective tourists.
In the mitigation and transition phase, under the community Inter Agency Rebuilding Support System, a bulk of the programs in the form of relief or stimulus packages will be implemented and granted to affected establishments which are still coping and not gaining income. This will be done with support from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Tourism Promotions Board for financial support.
For the moment that the city cannot invite tourists yet, the city would start cleaning operations on tourist sites like the Baguio Convention Center to be ready for operation after the quarantine.
After the quarantine, the city can already start holding small gatherings like the anticipated May 28 National Flag Day for a thanks giving and a tribute to frontliners, but if not possible would be held during the Independence Day on June 12.
There would be also holdings of seminars for tourism practitioners and establishments on “sustainable tourism” where to highlight things that were learned from the crisis and how to develop a new normal for tourism management and tourism industry. Another seminar for tourism practitioners or establishment will be on how to bounce back in terms of profitability and economic opportunities. Also integrated in the recovery phase are community celebrations with a first event in September during the Baguio Day celebrations if it will be permitted, which is a grand thanksgiving tribute and the launching of the “Akyat na sa Baguio” campaign.
In November would be the launching of the Baguio Visitors Program as means to refresh the city’s tourism products and services. Tourists will be invited on a new normal scheme, which means that experience of over tourism, traffic and difficulty during influx of tourism would be addressed through implementation or imposition of a new management system to be launched during the Christmas.
Meanwhile the body in Resolution 250, s. 2020, has requested the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to work towards a just and equitable fare scheme to address the economic effect of the imposition of social/physical distancing as a measure to avert the spread of Covid-19 to the public transport providers and commuters.
The appeal is brought by observance of social/physical distancing or the maintenance of at least one-meter gap from one person to another which is now the required new normal gap in all public transactions including the transport sector.
The resolution stated that during normal situation all public utility vehicles plying in Baguio are supposed to operate within the bounds of their franchises which prescribes the minimum and maximum capacity. However, in this time of Covid-19, there are required protocols and guidelines being strictly observed for the transportation providers to limit the number of their regular passengers to half, and adjustment would drastically reduce the income of the PUV operator and driver who also need to provide for the essential needs of their respective families.
in Resolution 247, s. 2020, the council urged City Environment and Parks Management Office to prioritize the completion of all sewer and drainage projects within the City of Baguio before the rainy season.
the resolution stated that a well-constructed and complete sewerline system that can withstand and accommodate huge rainfall ensures the protection of the life and health of the constituents and their convenience.
In addition, through Resolution 248, s. 2010, the CBAO together with the City Engineering Office, the Department of Public Works and Highways regional office and the Baguio City District Engineering Office were requested to identify the critical government infrastructure projects and prioritize its construction and completion before the onset of the rainy season.
It is also provided in the resolution that in case of additional skilled workers who are not available in the City, they shall be sourced out from Benguet and Mountain Province and subject to the conditions set by the ECQ rules and regulations.
Through Resolution 249, s. 2020, all public and private hospitals in Baguio were urged and reminded not to refuse to administer initial medical treatment and support to emergency and serious cases or to any patient who appear in their doorsteps or emergency rooms for medical treatment.
The reminder is pursuant to Republic Act 10932 or the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law, which declares unlawful for a hospital or medical clinic to refuse to administer appropriate initial medical treatment and support in emergency or serious cases to any patient.
The resolution stressed that the law provides that a transfer to another hospital or facility can only be done after emergency treatment has been administered until the patient is in a stable condition must be observed.
It added that increasing rate of suspects and possible cases should not be used as an excuse for refusing emergency cases/patients who seek medical treatment at any hospital.
In another request, in Resolution 251, s. 2020, all institutions with hemodialysis treatment services in the City of Baguio were asked to accommodate dialysis patients from the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center during its suspension of services or resumption with limitations due to strict infection control.