ISLAND Garden City of Samal (Igacos) Mayor Al David Uy temporarily suspended operation of all resorts, including beach or inland, in the city beginning June 1 until 14, 2021 due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the city and its neighboring local government units (LGUs).

Uy issued Executive Order (EO) No. 291 on Sunday, May 30, wherein the mayor also ordered the suspension of private gatherings and parties in private resorts and establishments.

Exempted in the order are those Department of Tourism (DOT) "Star-rated Resorts", which may continue to operate as certified by DOT to have passed its Staycation Program.

The mayor also ordered the suspension of all pre-bookings until further notice and advice. All confirmed bookings and approved tourist QR Codes are also canceled.

"The National Capital Region and other areas in the country including our neighboring LGUs specifically Davao City reported surge increase in their Covid-19 cases as well as the emergence of new Covid-19 variants, thereby, suspending all crowd-drawing activities in their jurisdiction such as but not limited to personal milestone events, welcome honors, summer outing, inauguration, oath-taking programs, and similar other events and activities," the mayor said in his EO.

He said hospitals in these areas were fully occupied with Covid-19 patients that prompted the Department of Health (DOH) to limit the city’s daily reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test to 50 to 100 lab tests only, way below the city’s capacity to conduct RT-PCR tests.

"This limitation makes it difficult for the local government to control the surge of Covid 19 cases, hence, the need to balance public safety with economic recovery to protect the people against Covid-19 transmission," Uy said.

Based on surveillance reports, the mayor revealed that there was a clustering of Covid-19 cases due to the conduct of events, transmissions in the market, workplace, and such other areas.

He said there is a need to implement preventive measures to prevent the same full-blown community transmission to happen in Igacos.

According to the City Investment and Tourism Office (CITO), the city is frequented by many tourists conducting summer outings, gatherings, and other celebrations, which will be a potential source of Covid-19 transmission.

"All affected resort workers shall be assisted by the City Government through its Tupad [Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers] Program provided by the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole)," Uy said.

Meanwhile, DOT-Davao Region said their office respects the decision of the LGU to temporarily suspend all resort operations as a precautionary measure established by the local government of the Igacos to control the possible surge of Covid-19 cases on the island.

DOT-Davao said there will be around 130 tourism establishments affected by this order.

According to the Provincial Health Office of Davao del Norte, as of May 29, Igacos had a total confirmed Covid-19 positive cases of 357, wherein 21 were active cases, 322 were recoveries, and 14 were deaths.