MANKAYAN, Benguet – The municipal government announced that the conduct of tourism-related activities in various tourist destinations in the municipality remains suspended until such time that the prevailing community quarantine status of most of the country will be reclassified by the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases.
Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong stated that the suspension of tourism-related events and scheduled visits to the tourist destinations around the municipality will pave the way for the destinations to naturally regenerate to provide added attractions once the situation will improve in the coming weeks.
“We will not allow the improving situation of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the municipality to be compromised once we will allow the conduct of tourism-related activities and allow the scheduled visits to our tourist destinations. We want the situation to stabilize before we will come out with a decision to allow tourism-related activities to help in the government’s recovery efforts,” Mayor Ayong stressed.
The local chief executive said that despite the suspension of tourism-related activities in the municipality since the implementation of the Luzonwide lockdown in March last year, residents were able to survive the serious negative effects of the pandemic to their economic activities and sources of livelihood because of the presence of alternative activities such as vegetable farming that allow them to be able to produce food on their table and income from the sale of their agricultural produce.
According to him, the town does not have the substantial number of tourist destinations unlike in other neighboring municipalities but tourists drop by the various tourist spots to have a glimpse of what the town could showcase.
Aside from the mining communities, one of the major tourist destinations in the municipality is the vegetable gardens situated in portions of the Mount Data plateau that is within Mankayan’s area of jurisdiction, the gong factory in barangay Bedbed and other natural attractions hosted by the different barangays.
Ayong claimed that one of the important aspects of tourism that will be improved is the presence of accommodation facilities to cater to the accommodation needs of tourists visiting the municipality in the future.
The municipal mayor encouraged local businessmen to invest in the put up of accommodation establishments in the strategic places in the locality to ensure the readiness of the local tourism industry stakeholders once concerned government agencies and the local government will relax the prevailing stringent policies regulating tourism-related events in the country.
Earlier, the local government disclosed that it will be formally launching the conduct of paragliding activities in the municipality simultaneous with the celebration of the town’s founding anniversary by next month to help in efforts to gradually and safely revive the industry and the local economy because people have already suffered too much difficulties during the implementation of the various levels of community quarantine over the past 10 months. By HENT