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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet– The municipal government underscored that the municipality remains closed to tourists coming from outside Benguet following the emerging threat of the Delta and Lambda variants of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
However, Mayor Romeo K. Salda disclosed that the tourist spots that had earlier been allowed to operate will be open to residents of Benguet and Baguio City to help in gradually and safely allowing the heavily impacted tourism sector to start the obviously long journey to recovery.
While there were initial efforts to start allowing the tourists from outside Benguet and Baguio City to start visiting the municipality, he claimed that the threat of the new COVID-19 variants had caused the local government to put on hold the said proposal, thus, the need for concerned stakeholders must understand the difficult decision that local officials have to make just to ensure the protection of the health and safety of the people.
The local chief executive admitted that tourism is one of the town’s major economic drivers because of its proximity to Baguio City, one of the premier tourist destinations in the country, that is why many tourists who visit the city always make sure to visit the various tourist destinations in the municipality.
La Trinidad enjoys the distinction of being the country’s strawberry capital because it is the source of the huge volume of fresh strawberries being traded around the archipelago.
According to him, the revival of the local tourism industry should not be left out in the overall recovery plan because it is a generator of jobs for the people and provides greater opportunities for additional sources of livelihood.
Initially, the local government allowed certain tourist destinations in the municipality to start their operations but after having complied with the prevailing implementation of stringent health and safety protocols that had been cascaded by the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases to prevent the rapid spread of the deadly virus in the locality.
The mayor stipulated that the compliance of all the establishments in the municipality that were earlier allowed to operate is being closely monitored by the members of the Health and Safety Protocols Monitoring Task Force that had been created to prevent the public from letting their guards down with the threat being imposed by the new variants of the deadly virus.
Mayor Salda appealed to the residents to sustain their adherence to the ongoing implementation of the basic health and safety protocols because it is still the best weapon of the people to contain the virus while awaiting the aggressive roll out of the government’s mass vaccination program to achieve population protection and eventual her immunity to guarantee the normal way of life.
Among the prevailing minimum public health standards that are currently being enforced include the mandatory wearing of face masks and shields, the observance of physical distancing at all times, the practice of personal hygiene and regular disinfection.
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis