A BAGUIO City official expressed alarm over the continued decrease of tourist arrivals in the Summer Capital.
Councilor Elmer Datuin, who chairs the Committee on Tourism, Special Events Parks and Playgrounds, raised his concern on the impact of increasing dengue cases to the tourism industry of Baguio City.
“The increasing number of dengue cases in the city affects our tourism. Let us be careful and prevent the increase as it already creates a big blow to the tourism industry,” councilor Datuin said during Monday’s session.
The City Health Services Office recorded 1,199 dengue cases in the city from January to July, a five-fold increase from the 239 cases of the same period last year.
According to Datuin, the city should look closely to the data and be careful in declaring an outbreak as it can create a toll on the revenue of the city from tourism.
Of the 1199 cases, 56% were male while 44% are females with two recorded deaths; a 58-year-old female from Asin Road and 20-year-old male from Camp 7.
Councilor Elaine Sembrano who chairs the Committee on Health and Sanitation, Ecology and Environmental Protection also agreed to Datuin’s sentiment.
“Dapat mag-ingat tayo sa pag declare ng outbreak kasi maapektuhan ang ating turismo. We know that the biggest part of the city’s revenue come from the tourism industry, baka magaya tayo sa nangyari noon nang magdeclare tayo ng outbreak sa Meningococcemia. That time natakot ang mga turista na pumunta ng Baguio,” Sembrano told Sun*Star Baguio.
Presently, the CHSO conducts anti-dengue prevention activities while the City Council is working on its anti-dengue ordinance.
The anti-dengue prevention activities include misting of 30 barangays with high-prevalence of dengue cases, strengthening of the search and destroy operations and distributing mosquito nets to school.
“Sa ngayon, sa 30 barangays muna nagconduct ng misting ang CHSO, kasi meron tayong nahiram na apat na machines from DOH. 30 lang muna kasi we prioritize barangays with highest-prevalence of dengue cases,” CHSO officer Rowena Galpo said during the session.
Sembrano added the City will extend any help needed by the CHSO in terms of medicines and equipment.
“We hope next year makabili tayo ng apat din na misting machine, and we will make sure to conduct misting sa remaining barangays so the occurrence of dengue cases in other barangays will be prevented,” Sembrano stated.
Sembrano then advised the public that it is not just the duty of the City to prevent dengue but it requires a concerted effort from all constituents.