IN SUPPORT to the move to slowly open the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) for tourism, the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Cordillera assured continuous conduct of flag raising ceremonies and tourism activities in key destinations in the region.
PRO-Cordillera Director Police Brigadier General R'win Pagkalinawan said this is a way of helping restart the economy through tourism promotion.
"I was thinking that during Covid, many lost their jobs related to tourism and in fact, when I made a research of the region, 40 percent of its gross
domestic income comes from tourism that suddenly disappeared particularly for those particular months. So you can just imagine the number of workforce that have lost their jobs and the reason why PROCOR started to do flag raising ceremonies together with the Tourism Department is to encourage lowlanders to return to Baguio City and CAR after the Covid health crisis," Pagkalinawan said.
The Regional Development Council's initial report from line agencies and offices showed staggering figures the region lost from the two-month enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which have stopped work and business operation.
Former Baguio City mayor Peter Rey Bautista, who now sits as a private sector representative of the Regional Development Council Committee (RDC) on infrastructure, said the city is only driven by two factors, particularly education and tourism, which makes that up 90 percent of the region's economy.
"With the tourists return to the tourists destinations in Baguio City and the Cordillera, this will give way for the return of jobs when tourism related activities are in full blast and the lost income can soon be recovered," Pagkalinawan said.
Tourism recorded a loss of P1.4 billion, with expected arrivals loss pegged at 327,637 from March to April, representing forgone tourist expenditures for two months.
"We know for a fact that local government units in the region have to earn simply because they need money to support our health rehabilitation efforts, anti-Covid operations. If we do not return tourism and we do not go back to normal, where will get the funds to ensure the health needs of our brothers and sisters here in the Cordillera," Pagkalinawan added.
The RDC report also showed Benguet losing 26,143 tourists, estimated to cost them P98 million in revenue, while Baguio City estimates 230,388 arrivals, translating to P995,276,160 in lost income.