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Police: Cebu tourists at âmanageable levelâ
“Ang tourist natin didto sa province, actually, if you have heard the pronouncement of our governor the past few days, most sa ating tourist ay local tourist, mga Cebuanos din… once in a while, may mga foreigners din at mga tao from other areas, pero hindi pa ganun ka-kapal,” said Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) Director Engelbert Soriano.

Police: Cebu tourists at “manageable level”

Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - May 6, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The movement of tourists in Cebu Province remains at a “manageable level” months after the province decided to reopen tourism at least nine months ago in 2020 to resuscitate the economy following job and business loses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ang tourist natin didto sa province, actually, if you have heard the pronouncement of our governor the past few days, most sa ating tourist ay local tourist, mga Cebuanos din… once in a while, may mga foreigners din at mga tao from other areas, pero hindi pa ganun ka-kapal,” said Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) Director Engelbert Soriano.

As far as the police are concerned, there are only a few changes made in their security deployment at sites most frequented by visitors, including Badian, Malapascua Island, Bantayan Island, and Sumilon Island in the Municipality of Oslob.

Soriano said they have added police personnel in Malapascua in Daanbantayan town in northern Cebu but emphasized the area remains peaceful.

Visitors during the recent reopening of the Kawasan Falls in Badian were also generally orderly, he said.

"Nung last weekend, nag-bukas rin yung Kawasan Falls at more or less mga 1,000 came to see the reopening. Wala naman kaming mga naging problema except na, minsan, di maiwasan yung pagdikit-dikit ng mga tao lalo na yung gustong kumuha ng mga photographs,” Soriano.

He said cops were deployed in the area to ensure minimum health protocols were observed. Personnel from the Provincial Mobile Force supported the town police.

He said CPPO is ready to adjust according, depending on the requirement at the tourism site.

"Titingnan natin yung magiging turnout ng tao doon since na re-open nila… titingnan natin ang average and regular number of visitors dun… kami mag a-adjust ng security sa area,” he assured.

LAPU-LAPU

Meanwhile, in Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan, Mayor Junard Chan said the city can now welcome foreigners as long as they are fully vaccinated and have a negative RT-PCR test result issued within 72 hours before arriving in Mactan.

Those who do not have an RT-PCR test result will be tested upon arrival, he said.

Under Resolution 113 of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), foreign nationals are allowed to enter the country provided, among other conditions, that they have a valid visa and pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited hotel or facility.

Chan wrote to Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III requesting the latter to allow the entry of foreign tourists to the city in order to revive the economy of what is considered a prime tourist destination in the country.

He said there is a need to strike a careful balance between economy and health now that it has been over a year since Cebu first went into lockdown because of COVID-19.

“Halos wala na tay kaso,” he said, referring to the declining number of COVID cases in the city.

“Ang mga tawo gigutom na, kinahanglan na gyud tagaan nato og pagkaon ang atong mga tawo,” he said.

As far as Overseas Filipino Workers and returning Filipinos are concerned, Chan said he supports the policy of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia that they will no longer have to under a six-day quarantine as long as they test negative for COVID-19 at the airport.

“Same with Gov. Gwen (Garcia), those Filipino workers living abroad who want to go home, visit their families, and have their vacation here, once tested negative, they can go home,” he said. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, JMO  (FREEMAN)

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