Diclas said the province of Benguet welcomes the opening of Baguio City to tourists as it would allow the economy to move, but he stressed that there should be coordination between and among the local government units and the people of Baguio - La Trinidad – Itogon – Sablan – Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT) and the Department of Tourism – Cordillera regional office.
Baguio’s opening its doors to tourists would definitely affect the LISTT areas which tourism industry remain closed. The municipality of Tuba for example is the gateway to Baguio with all four highways going to the city traversing through its territory
Diclas explained that by opening the tourism industry, livelihood and industries related to tourism would open and people would have alternative source of income during this trying times. But at the moment, the Benguet mayors are not keen on opening tourism industry due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases which include locally stranded individuals coming back to their respective hometowns and those who had travel outside the province.
During the 111th Baguio City Charter Day celebration in September 1, the city government of Baguio signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) expressing their mutual support and understanding for the expansion of official and non-governmental exchanges and friendship through the promotion of tourism and stability geared towards greater heights and innate reciprocation for the put up of a tourism corridor in Northern Luzon.
The MOU was signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, Ilocos Sur 2nd District Rep. Kristine Singson Meehan, Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis Singson, Ilocos Norte Gov. Mathew Joseph Marcos Manotoc, Pangasinan Gov. Amado I. Espino III and La Union Gov. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega, who was represented by DOT Region I Director Joseph Francisco Ortega. It was was witnessed by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat and other ranking tourism officials.
Under the MOU, the local chief executives agreed to conduct research in areas that would be beneficial among the Baguio-La Union-Pangasinan-Ilocos Sur-Ilocos Norte particularly but not limited to the possible creation of a Baguio-Region I tourism corridor featuring the natural, cultural and creative pride of place of its zone to cultivate interest in would-be travellers.
Baguio’s gradual opening of tourism to Region I visitors starts this September 21. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic Cawis