LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Benguet State University (BSU) administration is open to an earlier request of the municipal government for the re-opening of the strawberry farm for residents and visitors alike as part of its contribution to combined efforts in gradually and safely starting up the tourism industry and revive the economy for the benefit of the concerned stakeholders.
BSU president Dr. Felipe S. Comila stated that the higher education institution’s new administration will closely work with concerned government agencies, the provincial government and the 13 municipal governments for the formulation of programs, projects and activities that will contribute in efforts to bring back the vibrance of the local tourism industry to generate jobs and sources of livelihood of the people.
He added that BSU will always be supportive of the initiatives of government agencies and the local governments to advance the welfare of their constituents where tourism is one of the identified economic drivers and with the strawberry farm within its landholdings, thus, they are inclined to open the strawberry farm so that residents and visitors can visit again the site.
However, he claimed that appropriate coordination has to be done with the municipal government on the regulation of the entry of people in the strawberry farm in adherence to the prevailing implementation of basic health and safety protocols to combat the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the municipality.
“We have to closely work without institutional partners for us to come out with the best solutions to our present problems primarily caused by the ongoing pandemic. We do not have the monopoly of solutions and it is best for us to engage everyone to solicit their ideas before we will decide on the matter. What is important is we’re willing to open the strawberry farm for residents and tourists alike,” Dr. Comila stressed.
Earlier, Mayor Romeo K. Salda insinuated the desire of the municipal inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases for BSU to re-open the strawberry farm for residents and visitors from Baguio and Benguet following the decision of the task force to open the town’s tourist spots for Baguio and Benguet residents.
Initially, some 10 outdoor tourist destinations in the municipality were opened for Baguio and Benguet residents but the operations of the said spots, both private and public, are under strict monitoring by the municipal government for compliance to the stringent health and safety protocols to ensure the safety and health not only the visitors but also those people managing the operation of the said destinations.
The strawberry farm, which is one of the most frequented destinations in the municipality, is within the landholdings of the State-run higher education institution that provides livelihood to hundreds of strawberry farmers living in the town’s barangays.