To enforce health protocols: Group to guard tourism spots
In a now deleted post, a concerned citizen shared photos of supposed tourists roaming around without masks. The tourists were also seen riding a sidecar side-by-side, violating social distancing protocol.
Philstar.com/File
To enforce health protocols: Group to guard tourism spots
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - October 26, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) is eyeing at creating a task force that would monitor tourist spots to ensure health protocols are observed as the province reopens its economy while continuing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

This came after photos of tourists allegedly violating protocols while in Bantayan Island circulated online.

In a now deleted post, a concerned citizen shared photos of supposed tourists roaming around without masks. The tourists were also seen riding a sidecar side-by-side, violating social distancing protocol.

"Isa sa naging suggestion ko is to create a force multiplier na tutulong sa police na may training sila about tourism.

They will know how to engage with the tourists, lalo na yung mga foreigners," said Provincial Police Director Aladdin Collado.

(One of my suggestions is to create force multipliers with training in tourism that can help the police. They will know how to engage with the tourists, especially foreigners.)

Collado said they have met with mayors in the towns in Bantayan Island – Bantayan, Santa Fe, and Madridejos – and one of the concerns raised during the meeting is the anticipated influx of visitors.

"Last week, we had a meeting with the Provincial Tourism Office, and yan din ang tinitingnan natin na we should have a task force na talagang mag i-implement nyan (health protocols)," Collado said.

(Last week, we had a meeting with the Provincial Tourism Office and that’s what we looked at – creating a task force that would implement health protocols)

Collado said a task force specifically for enforcement of health protocols can supplement the CPPO, considering that some of its personnel have gone to mandatory schooling, which has prompted a reshuffling of positions.

He said that since the provincial government decided to reopen tourism activities, government agencies have agreed to harmonize the enforcement of minimum health standards.

They have also advised tourist destinations to create sanitation areas to make enforcement of protocols easier.

"We have encouraged yung mga tourist destinations dyan and yung mga resorts to have a sanitation area, such as a handwashing area at saka yung disinfection," Collado said.

(We have encouraged tourist destinations and resorts to have a sanitation area for handwashing and disinfection)

Collado admitted they are still able to apprehended violators of health protocols, both residents and tourists, despite repeated reminders of government.

"Marami pa rin... kung ano yung ginagawa natin, continuous pa rin kasi wala pang pagbabago doon sa IATF resolution... wala namang pagkakaiba sa mga tourist at locals," he said.

(There are still many… our efforts are the same because the IATF resolution has not been changed… there is no distinction between tourists and locals)

He said netizens posting photos or information about violators online can be 'productive' as the concern of safety is a concern of every individual.

Tourism

With the province under modified general community quarantine, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has said there are no more age restrictions for tourists planning to visit Bantayan and other tourist destinations in the province.

Tourists who wish to visit the island need to book their accommodations beforehand. The confirmed hotel/resort booking is required for the purchase of a two-way boat ticket, Garcia said.

Under the Executive Order No.20-A, pre-booking must be done prior to visiting the tourist site or destination using the centralized online booking portal managed by the Cebu Provincial Tourism Task Force.

Tourists are not required to present a medical certificate but are required to wear masks and face shields in public transportation and public places.

Garcia also urged all stakeholders, including resort owners and operators, tour guides, tour organizations and other provincial-related industries in Bantayan to comply with the requirements needed for them to operate to avoid penalties. — JMO (FREEMAN)

TOURISM
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with