Mayor Thomas Wales Jr. said that while travel requirements have been relaxed, the local government still maintains the closure of its tourism destinations from those coming from other places outside of Bokod and Benguet. This is to help ensure protection of the people from the COVID-19 as the municipality prepares for the “new normal.”
Residents in the different barangays of the municipality are allowed to visit their tourism sites but this is done as part of the measures for the improvement of mental and physical health and wellness, he explained.
Among the frequently visited tourism sites of the municipality o includes the Mount Purgatory, the Badekbek Sulfur Spring, the Ambuklao Dam, the mossy forest of Naswak and the Palansa Panoramic View.
He explained that although the jump point of Mount Pulag or the Mount Pulag National Park Protected Area Office is located in Ambangeg in Daclan, Bokod, the municipality of Kabayan has the jurisdiction over the sacred mountain. The local government of Kabayan still has not yet opened its tourism industry and the recent visits to the Mount Pulag National Park are official visits such as monitoring activities of the Philippine National Police and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Meanwhile, barangay officials in Daclan placed fences around the vicinity of the Badekbek Sulfur Spring to enclose and protect the area from visitors who have been disrespecting the area.
It has been noted that tourists coming from the nearby towns of Bokod as well as the nearby provinces have been frequently visiting the Badekbek Sulfur Springs but they have been leaving their garbage wastes around the vicinity including the area at the sulfur springs, which prompted the closure of the area.
Despite the fences and signage, illegal entry of tourists is still being done at the sulfur spring area forcing more measures to be done to ensure protection of the said tourism destination.
Wales said the opening of the tourism industry of the municipality will be discussed witgh Provincial Inter Agency Task Force. (JDP/RMC- PIA-CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis