Sagada suspends all eco-tourism activities amid COVID-19 risk

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
Sagada suspends all eco-tourism activities amid COVID-19 risk
This January 2019 file photo shows the majestic Malboro Hills in Sagada, Mountain Province.
Philstar.com / Kristine Joy Patag

MANILA, Philippines— The municipality of Sagada, Mountain Province on Thursday ordered suspension of all activities related to tourism within the municipality due to the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) until further notice.

In Executive Order No. 7-20 issued Thursday, Sagada Mayor James Pooten Jr. said the order shall take effect immediately.

Pooten said the move was made “in response to the growing concern over the outbreak of COVID-19” with the recent declaration of the World Health Organization that it is a world health emergency.

The mayor added that the Department of Interior and Local Government has advised all local governments to take precautionary measures to help contain the disease.

He also cited the 1987 Constitution in deciding on the suspension of eco-tourism activities.

“Whereas, the Philippine Constitution, which provides that the ‘The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them,’” the mayor said.

In view of the order, all tourist spots except those that are privately owned are hereby closed.

This include all tours and packages written within the map handouts and tourist information centers such as caves, adventure trails, hanging coffins, waterfalls, among others.

Some of the private establishments not covered by the order are:

  • Sunrise View Hotel and Isang Wow Sunrise Viewdeck

  • Paog's Sunset Viewdeck

  • Sagada Pottery

  • Sagada Weaving

  • Masferre's Photographs

According to the Department of Health, the number of confirmed cases in the country remain to be three people including one death. The first case confirmed has been discharged.

On the other hand, more than 400 are under investigation in the country due to the COVID-19.

As of Feb. 12 afternoon, ten people are still admitted in Cordillera Administrative Region while 8 others have been discharged and cleared of COVID-19.

On Monday, the DOH warned the public against organizing or going to events that draw several people.

For its part the tourism sector led by The Department of Tourism and Tourism Congress of the Philippines, assured the public, especially the foreign and domestic tourists, that “the Philippines remains a vast, diverse and most importantly safe destination for travel.”

The DOT earlier released earlier released guidelines on handling guests in tourism enterprises.

“The safety of the public, especially our tourists and employees in the tourism sector, remains the priority of DOT and TCP,” they said on Monday.

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