After Baguio City’s postponement of Panagbenga 2020 activities supposedly set for this month, a number of municipalities in the Cordillera Administrative Region (C.A.R.) have also taken proactive measures to protect locals and tourists against the threat of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Aside from previously cancelling the Panagbenga Grand Opening Parade and government-sponsored events under the festival, Mayor Benjamin Magalong has also called on barangay units to activate and mobilize their Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) that will help in spreading awareness and educate people about ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Many tourists have been visiting Atok, Benguet as it is home to the famous Northern Blossoms Flower Farm and the Benguet-Kochi Sisterhood Park, otherwise known as Sakura Park.
However, the municipal government led by Mayor Raymundo Sarac, has decided to temporarily suspend tourism activities in the locality starting last February 6, 2020 as a precautionary measure and to address the concerns on the COVID-2019.
Starting February 24, 2020, all tourism activities in Kabayan, Benguet will also be temporarily suspended until further notice.
According to the advisory from the office of Municipal Mayor Faustino Aquisan, this is being done as a proactive and preventive measure against the threat of Coronavirus and in compliance with DOH and DILG advisories and memoranda.
It was also stated in the advisory that starting February 12 until February 23, 2020, all tour organizers are urged to require their guests and all tourists to declare their non-travel history to countries with confirmed Covid-19 cases before being allowed to enter the municipality of Kabayan.
La Trinidad, Benguet
La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda and the rest of the La Trinidad Strawberry Executive Committee have also agreed to cancel this year’s celebration of the Strawberry Festival.
The EXECOM has decided to cancel the festival based on the Department of Health’s (DOH) advisory in order to protect the public from the spread of the Novel Corona Virus (2019-nCoV).
In his statement, Mayor Salda also encouraged the public to avoid attending, participating or organizing events that will draw a huge number of attendees as advised by the DOH.
Sagada, Mt. Province
In response to the growing concerns on Coronavirus, Hon. James B. Pooten Jr., mayor of Sagada, Mt. Province, has also issued an executive order suspending all eco-tourism activities in their municipality.
Mayor Sacramento Gumilab has also issued an executive order to temporarily suspend tourism activities in Tinglayan, Kalinga due to the deadly disease.
Because of this, tourists will not be able to visit Whang-od in Barangay Buscalan or the legendary mountain of Mating-oy, otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty.
Aside from the suspension, the mayor also ordered the creation of a Municipal Novel Coronavirus Task Force to focus meet world health emergency.