Capitol to issue EO on tourism-related activities under MGCQ
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Tourism stakeholders and guests in Cebu province have something to look forward to as it transitions to the most relaxed form of community quarantine.
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia announced during her regular press briefing last Thursday, July 9, 2020, that tourism activities will be resuming anytime now that most parts of the province are placed under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
“Under MGCQ, tourism-related activities in the Province will be encouraged to resuscitate the economic opportunities lost to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” stated Sugbo News, the Capitol-ran media outlet.
Cebu province has officially shifted to MGCQ starting on Friday, July 10, following the decision of the national government’s anti-coronavirus task force to further ease its quarantine restrictions last June 30.
Garcia is expected to issue another set of executive order (EO) that will lay down the guidelines in reopening the province’s tourism activities. The Capitol is also set to meet with concerned government agencies in Central Visayas such as the Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Health in coming up with the EO.
Among the rules eyed for tourism activities included subjecting them to physical distancing health protocols such as operating under a 50 percent capacity only, use of footbaths, the establishment of hand-washing areas, and one-person-one-room policy.
Garcia also said residents who want to frolic in the beaches in other towns are now allowed to do cross-border travels under MGCQ.
“Under GCQ wala na nato gi-allow nang swimming from one town to another. Anha ra gyud ka maligo sa dagat nga duol sa inyoha. Duna pa gyud ta’y oras nga from 6 am to noontime as part of the health regimen. Apan karon gi-allow na nato, under MGCQ, kay in effect i-open na nato ang tourism in towns that depend mainly on tourism as their means of livelihood,” said Garcia.
(We didn’t allow swimming from one town to another under GCQ. And you can only swim in the beaches in your town. We also ordered that swimming be allowed from 6 a.m. to noon only as part of the health regimen. But now, we will be foregoing these rules as we allow people to swim since under MGCQ, in effect, we will be opening tourism in towns that depend mainly on it as their means of livelihood.)
The governor added that the Capitol might be able to release the new EO by Tuesday (July 14) or Wednesday (July 15) next week.
Cebu province hosts multiple tourism activities and sites which have become popular for both local and foreign tourists.
This included the famous whale-shark watching activities in Oslob town; canyoneering between the southwestern towns of Badian and Alegria; Bojo River cruise in Aloguinsan; sardine-run in Moalboal; diving around Malapascua Island; sunbathing on the stretch of fine, white sand in Santa Fe in Bantayan Island, to name some.
The tourism industry has been severely impacted by the lockdowns in most parts of the world as part of governments’ efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. /bmjo
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