MANKAYAN, Benguet – Residents were recently encouraged by the municipal government to consider offering home stay services as part of the preparations for the expected easing of the prevailing community quarantine guidelines that will contribute in efforts to revive the local economy.
Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong stated that aside from agriculture and mining, other potential economic drivers of the local economy is tourism because of the town’s strategic location within the central Cordillera where tourists will surely drop by the various tourist destinations when going around the Northern Luzon area once the situation will normalize.
He admitted that the municipality lacks the necessary accommodation facilities that will serve as a plus factor for visitors to spend more time going around the municipality and visit the various tourist destinations in the different barangays.
The municipal chief executive pointed out that residents interested to offer home stay services to coordinate with the municipal government to facilitate their accreditation pursuant to the prevailing standards for home stay crafted by the tourism department.
According to him, concerned stakeholders are now working out the possible institutionalization of paragliding as one of the town’s major tourist attraction to help entice enthusiasts to consider the municipality as their jump off point in their inter-municipal or inter-provincial paragliding activities.
Earlier, officers and members of the Philippine Paragliding Association–Northern Luzon visited the municipality and discovered the bright prospects for paragliding in the municipality that will serve as one of the town’s major economic drivers in the future once the prevailing community quarantine guidelines will be relaxed in the coming months.
Mayor Ayong pointed out that the municipal government will work out the identification of residents who can offer home stay services to prospective tourists so that their residences are ready once full-blown tourism activities will be allowed.
The mayor explained it will take some time for investors to put up accommodation facilities in the municipality that is why residents should take advantage of the situation by preparing their residences for homestay services to entice more visitors to drop by the various tourist spots when spending their well-deserved break in the nearby tourist spots.
Mayor Ayong emphasized the need for the municipality to have varied economic activities to provide alternative sources of livelihood for the residents who have been heavily impacted by the implementation of the different levels of community quarantine geared towards containing the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
He claimed that residents are inherently resilient but what is important is they will have the opportunity to have jobs and sources of income for their needs.
Mankayan is both an agriculture and mining town having been classified as one of the five first-class municipalities in Benguet because of the huge income that it is deriving from the operation of large-scale mining companies. By HENT