STARTING February 24, all tourism activities in Kabayan, Benguet are suspended including all tourism sites closed until further notice due to threat of the Coronavirus disease (Covid–19).
Mayor Faustino Aquisan in a public advisory disclosed the move serve as proactive measure against the threat of the virus and in compliance with various advisories from the health and interior and local government department.
"Considering that safety and health of both locals and tourists in our municipality is far more important right now, temporarily, all tourism activities are suspended and all tourism sites are closed effective February 24, 2020 until further notice," the advisory said.
Aquisan added all accommodation facilities such as lodges, inns and home stays, cooperatives, public and private offices, transport groups and business establishments within the town must implement general preventive measures relative to the threat of the virus.
The mayor also stated from February 12 to February 23, tour organizers are asked require their guests, including tourists to declare their travel history to countries with confirmed Covid before being allowed to enter to the municipality.
"Dishonesty and failure to give correct information, falsified response and refusal to fill up the declaration form will be sanction as per Article 171 and 172 or the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines and may also be banned from entering Kabayan," Aquisan said.
Kabayan is home to Mt. Pulag, Luzon's highest peak which attracts mountain climbers. Highlights of the climb include the mossy forests and grasslands with its sea of clouds in the summit. There are trails up the summit namely; the Ambangeg, Akiki, and Tawangan trails from Benguet.
On Thursday, the park management of the Mt. Pulag National Park said the Protected Area Management Board will have a meeting this month to tackle the management concerns and technical matters.
"After the meeting, we shall be posting their decision with the top management in a few days’ time," the park management added.
The management earlier advised all trekkers and organizers to bring 70% rubbing alcohol, handkerchief or shawl for protection as well as masks to control and mitigate possible spread of any communicable disease.
In Benguet, several towns had earlier temporarily suspended tourism related activities amid the threat of the virus.
Atok temporarily closed tourism sites including flower farms starting February 6 until further notice, which was followed by executive orders from Bakun and Kapangan in Benguet.
Tinglayan in Kalinga, and Sagada, Mountain Province also suspended tourism related activities and has ordered the suspension of all eco-tourism activities amid the threat of the virus.