Gwen: Cebu tourism exclusive for Cebuanos first
CEBU CITY, Philippines — As the Cebu provincial government gears towards the reopening of the tourism industry, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia clarified that the province’s tourism offerings will cater to Cebuanos for now.
Garcia, who is set to sign an executive order anytime this week that would set the guidelines for the reopening of the local tourism activities, said the relaunch of the bread-and-butter of the province’s economy will be done gradually.
Garcia said Cebu’s tourism industry has its own “viable” market — the 3.2 million Cebuanos who reside in the province.
“I wish to emphasize, ang atong tourism una, [within] the island of Cebu lang una ni. Within the province. Dili gikan sa Cebu City ha. Katong gikan ra sa mga lungsod ug dakbayan sa Probinsya sa Sugbo (Not for those coming from Cebu City. But those who come from Cebu province.),” Garcia said.
Even with the reopening of the tourism industry in Cebu province, Garcia maintained that the border controls with Cebu City which was reinstituted on June 26, 2020, will remain.
The province first set the border controls with Cebu City when both areas were under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). It was eased up last June 3 when the city was downgraded to general community quarantine (GCQ) but was again closed as the city reverted to ECQ and after the province saw its own number of cases rise after the movement of persons between the city and Cebu province.
The access going to and from the northern and southern parts of the province, without having to pass by Cebu City, is through the road network of the province’s midwest section.
“Konektado na ang atong norte pasidulong sa south. Asa ta agi? San Remigio, agi ngarig Tabuelan, Tuburan, Asturias, Balamban, diretso sa Toledo, Pinamungahan, Aloguinsan, mo-cross via Mantalongon, pag-abot sa Barili, maka-round south na ka,” Garcia said.
(Our northern and southern areas are already connected. Where? Through San Remigio, you pass through Tabuelan, Tuburan, Asturias, Balamban, then Toledo City, then Aloguinsan, and you cross to Barili through Mantalongon. When you reach Barili, then you can already go round south.)
The distance from San Remigio, 90 kilometers north of Cebu City, going to Barili is at least 128 kilometers.
Garcia added that she will still have to talk with the governors of the other provinces in Central Visayas, all of which are under a modified GCQ like Cebu province, to discuss the possibility of opening its borders for tourism activities.
“Hopefully, kay gi-allow na man ni sa NTF, or national task force on COVID-19, ang interisland nga travel from one MGCQ to another MGCQ, basta pareha lang ang risk classsification, so, pareha man tas Bohol, pareha man tas Siquijor, possibly we can open it up,” Garcia said.
(Hopefully [borders will already be opened], because the NTF allows interisland travel from one MGCQ zone to another as long as the areas have the same classification. We have the same classification as Bohol and Siquijor, possibly, we can open it up.)
“Mag-istorya usa mi sa mga Governors if they would wish nga atong buhion ang atong turismo especially Bohol kay turismo sad gyud ang ilang main economic driver didto,” she added.
(I will still be talking to the other Governors is they would also wish to already start to revive our tourism industries, especially Bohol, because the province also relies on its tourism industry as its main economic driver.)
Bohol which is also reopening its tourism industry is also limiting its market to Boholanos first.
Of the four provinces in the region — Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor, only the island province of Siquijor remain COVID-19 free.
As of July 20, Cebu province has 1,664 active cases; Bohol has 27 active cases; while Negros Oriental has 41. / dcb
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