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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The provincial government is studying the possibility of gradually and safely opening the local tourism industry by December once there will be a continuous decline in the number of Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 cases to allow the ongoing revival of the local economy that was heavily impacted by the ongoing health crisis.
Aside from the lucrative agriculture industry, one of the province’s economic drivers is tourism because of the presence of natural and man-made tourist spots that entice the influx of visitors from various parts of the global village.
Gov. Melchor Diclas disclosed that while it is true that there has been a down trend in recorded COVID-19 cases in the province daily, there is a need to assess the situation apart from ensuring that the tourist destinations are compliant to the prevailing implementation of the minimum public health standards to prevent the occurrence of untoward incidents that might trigger transmission of the virus.
He pointed out that there is a need to ensure that the gradual and safe opening of the local tourism industry will adhere to the guidelines that had been crafted by the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases as part of the ongoing efforts to get back to normalcy because of the serious negative impact inflicted by the pandemic to the economic activities and sources of livelihood of the people.
Earlier, the provincial inter-agency task force opened the province’s tourism industry to people coming from the different parts of the province as part of the strategies to avert the occurrence of untoward incidents that might trigger another surge in COVID-19 cases which should not happen in the first place.
According to him, residents should not relax and be complacent because of the decrease in the number of daily COVID-19 cases that are being reported because the pandemic is not yet over as there are possibilities of future surges if people will not sustain their compliance to the implementation of the minimum public health standards.
The governor urged local tourism industry stakeholders to work out their compliance to the health and safety protocols and await the decision of the inter-agency task force on what will be the policies that will be implemented with the projected gradual and safe opening of the tourism industry for visitors coming from the different parts of the country and eventually foreign visitors who are fully vaccinated.
Diclas appealed to the sectors that had been heavily impacted by the pandemic to understand the wisdom on the implementation of varying policies governing health and safety protocols because the government is trying its best to balance everything so that the health crisis will not be prolonged which might impact on the economic activities and sources of livelihood of the people.
He rallied the residents to continue working together to help the government hurdle the current challenges posed by the pandemic because it is with the cooperation of the public on the health and safety protocols that will address the prevailing issues and concerns on the said crisis.