BONTOC, Mountain Province – The provincial government disclosed that the different municipal governments are not inclined to open their tourist destinations for domestic tourism because of the impending threat of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) that might have a negative impact on the limited health care system in the province.
Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. stated that provincial and municipal officials in coordination with concerned tourism industry stakeholders agreed that it is not yet feasible to open the province’s tourism industry for domestic tourists because of the possible spread of the deadly virus that might affect the health of the people and impact negatively on the existing health care system.
He pointed out that the provincial and municipal governments will await the latest developments on the global pandemic before deciding on opening the province’s tourism industry probably by the end of the year or early next year, depending on the behavior of the virus and its possible transmission to the people living in the remote communities.
“We were able to control the spread of the virus through the strict implementation of the prevailing community quarantine guidelines for over six months now. We do not want the gains of the community quarantine to be ruined by ill-advised decisions that is why we decided to keep the province closed to tourism,” Gov. Lacwasan stressed.
The provincial chief executive lauded the efforts of the different municipal governments in protecting their constituencies from the entry of individuals coming from areas earlier classified as red zones and this contributed in the overall efforts of the province to keep the confirmed COVID cases at manageable levels because of the limited health care system.
According to him, most of the 17 confirmed COVID patients in the different parts of the province are locally transmitted individuals (LSIs) and returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) while there are only a few frontliners, thus, the provincial and municipal inter-agency task forces decided to tighten their respective border controls to protect the health and safety of their constituents.
Lacwasan claimed the people of the province can still survive the wrath of the pandemic even without the proposed resumption of tourism activities in the different tourist destinations because residents known how to survive the prevailing crisis situation
The governor expressed his gratitude to the people in the province for cooperating with the concerned government agencies and the municipal governments in the strict implementation of the community quarantine guidelines because the province will not be able to control the spread of the virus if the residents refuse to adhere to the prescribed rules and regulations from government agencies and the different task forces for the health and safety of the people and to prevent them from contracting the deadly virus.
Lacwasan urged the people and officials of the province to sustain the momentum achieved by their strict adherence to the community quarantine guidelines because what matters now is the protection of the health and safety of the people so that they will continue to be productive in their endeavors amidst the prevailing pandemic. By Hent