More LT tourist destinations to open soon

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The town’s tourism industry is starting to regain its vibrance after being heavily impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic following the expected opening of additional destinations that could be visited by residents from Baguio City and other parts of Benguet.

Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan, head of the local government’s Health and Safety Protocols Task Force, stated that their regular inspection of the compliance of establishments resumed recently to ensure that owners of businesses will not lower their guards in complying with the prescribed basic health and safety protocols to contain the spread of the virus in the city.

He disclosed that a team inspected the Ayuna Arts Gallery in barangay Shilan and the Alno mountain resort which are being eyed as the destinations that will be operational soon to add up to the tourist destinations that were earlier allowed to operate.

Earlier, the municipal government allowed some 10 open air tourist destinations in the municipality to operate as part of the efforts to help in bringing back the vibrance of the local economy which had been impacted by the prevailing levels of community quarantine over the past nine months.

Awingan disclosed that based on the assessment of the members of the teams that were deployed for the regular inspection, the compliance of business establishments to the prevailing health and safety protocols is very high and that there had been significant improvements on how businesses were able to innovate their compliance to the aforesaid regulations.

The tourist destinations in the municipality that are now being frequented by Baguio and Benguet residents include Mount Costa, Admirals Park, Avhong ni Romy, Lilly of the Valley, Cosmic farm, Living Gifts, Mount Kallogong, Mount Yangbew, DarJane’s Garden, Bell church and Garden ni Ines.

The vice mayor lauded the owners of business establishments in the municipality for their unwavering and uncompromising support to the efforts of the local government to contain the spread of the virus by strictly adhering to the prescribed health and safety protocols because it is still the best way of preventing anyone from contracting the illness while awaiting for the arrival of the vaccines to achieve herd immunity.

According to him, the organized teams will continue to monitor the compliance of businesses and public places on their sustained compliance to the prescribed health and safety protocols to avoid the occurrence of untoward incidents that will cause the sudden surge in COVID cases that will affect the status of the municipality as a low-risk locality.

Last year, the municipal government created the inter-agency task force to monitor the compliance of all establishments on the health and safety protocols that were crafted by the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases to contain the spread of the virus in the country.

Last year, the task force claimed that there was already 95 percent compliance among establishments in the municipality to the press scribed health and safety protocols after several months of being reminded to do so by the various teams that had been going around the municipality weekly to remind them about such concerns by the local government.

Photo by Armando M. Bolislis