Baguio reopens to Ilocos tourists
Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) - September 3, 2020 - 12:00am

BAGUIO CITY , Philippines — This city will accept tourists from Ilocos region starting Sept. 21.

Governors and representatives of local government units (LGUs) in Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte and La Union met with Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Tuesday for exploratory talks on the reopening of its border after more than six months of community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials of Ilocos LGUs and Baguio City signed a memorandum of understanding to foster cooperation in research and formulation of plans and guidelines in the reopening of tourism.

Magalong said preparations are in full swing while doubling their efforts in capacitating their triage and testing centers.

He had earlier said there would be a regulated entry as well as monitored movement of visitors when the city reopens to tourists.

Consultations with stakeholders on the measures to be implemented on the transition to the new normal have started  since April, Baguio City tourism officer Aloysius Mapalo said.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in her remarks during Baguio City’s Charter Day rites on Tuesday said more than four million workers in the tourism sector lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

Romulo said reopening of the tourism industry is needed to rev up the economy even as she stressed the need to strictly implement minimum health protocols.

Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Singson said many LGUs learned from the practices of Baguio City in addressing the threat posed by COVID-19.

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