Tourists not allowed to stopover in Benguet

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Governor Melchor Diclas on Thursday, September 17, 2020, stressed no tourist will be allowed to make stopovers within the province en route to Baguio City.

Diclas maintained the collective decision of the province not to allow tourism and stressed the need for border control.

“Dapat kasjay lang, dumalan da lang idjay, kasparigan Kennon, Marcos Highway dapat awan bumaba diretso da laeng. Nagmeeting so far dyay inbaga mayors, okay lang makidalan da ngem han da bumaba,” Diclas said.

With the Summer Capital opening its doors to tourists after the September 22 launch, police also urge visitors to follow the border rules in Benguet.

Following the meeting of the Department of Tourism (DOT)-Cordillera Administrative Region together with the Benguet Provincial Police Office, Police Regional Office –Cordillera (Procor) and Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) on September 16 in Baguio City, protocols have been identified to be implemented by the Benguet Provincial Police Office.

Benguet Provincial Police Office Director Colonel Elmer Ragay said tourists from La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur should travel through Naguilian Road and Marcos Highway only.

Tourists passing all quarantine control points in Benguet going to Baguio City will be required to present their Quick Response-Coded Tourist Pass (QTP).

The Benguet top cop said having QTP will mean visitors underwent online booking, testing and have a valid medical certificate.

Ragay said failure to present QTP will be grounds to deny entry and added tourists from Ilocos Region going to Baguio City are barred from entering any tourist spots in the province.

Ragay reiterated visitors going to the Summer Capital need to travel directly to the city and, as much as possible, there will be no stopovers within the jurisdiction of the province.

Travel agents are also urged to inform clients during booking that there will be no stopovers within Benguet.

La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda, meanwhile, said the capital town will implement stricter checkpoints in their borders to ensure tourists will not still cross borders.

Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan, who is also the president of the League of Municipalities in the province, said they will observe the effects of Baguio’s opening of its borders to tourists from Ilocos Region.

According to the Benguet official, tour guides, porters and stalls are affected when tourists were stopped.

“We are balancing safety of people and economic dislocation of people,” said Palangdan, adding the Benguet mayors are set to meet on September 30 to discuss tourism plans in their towns.


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